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When teeth become sensitive I suppose it's because of enamel wearing away. Isn't this permanent? If so, then how come sensitive teeth eventually 'heal'?

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What Causes Sensitive Teeth? - WebmD

Things that cause this usually break down your teeth so that other things reach your pulp or tooth root which cause pain when touched.

  • Dental cleaning

  • Tooth Grinding

  • Tooth Decay

  • Age

  • Tooth whitening products, etc

So it is wear, as explained here:

You get it when your gums pull back and expose the surface beneath, called the dentin. This soft layer has thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the tooth's nerve center (the pulp). They allow the hot, cold, or sweet food to reach the nerve in your tooth, which kicks off your pain.

While the above is just one scenario of how it can happen, the way your nerve reacts is not specific to that. Tooth sensitivity can be stopped by several methods depending on circumstance. Flouride can be used to help build the enamel of the tooth back, root canals can be used to eliminate problems in your root canal and are one of the most successful treatments for this. Also, there are grafts which cover the exposed root canal desensitizing root canal by applying resins. Using desensitizing toothpastes also help and preventing further wear of enamel is always on the treatment plan. The reason why sensitive teeth can get better is because the root canal is exposed and recovering enamel or desensitizing the nerve fixes the problem or makes it less sensitive to pain. While in this answer I may have used different terminology the word pulp, root canal and root are referring to the nerve in your teeth.

  • The term "root canal" was confusing for me initially because that's the name of a specific dental procedure. Since the quote uses the word "tubes" I might consider using that instead. – Carey Gregory Jul 27 '16 at 4:01
  • so for example, if you have a sensitive edge on your tooth, the flouride in toothpaste can cover up the exposed dentin? – lemon Jul 27 '16 at 9:46
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    @CareyGregory I realized that to, thanks for the suggestion. I'll try to edit accordingly. – Pobrecita Jul 28 '16 at 1:17

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