Our #1 goal is to protect the person or persons shown in each video and thumbnail image, preserving the best Internet practices and forewarning website visitors that the following videos and thumbnail images are graphic in nature and may not be appropriate for general viewing -- especially for children under 18 years of age.

Videos were filmed with the full consent from actual patients -- where each patient prior to filming these videos were fully informed and were asked to sign a waiver/disclaimer form if their video was to appear publicly on this website. If children were filmed and were subject to testimonial video interviews, full parental consent and signing of the waiver/disclaimer on behalf of their children to appear on the video has been fully provided. Videos do not appear in the order they were received. However, they are divided and categorized into sections by clinical service type.


These Videos and Thumbnail Images Are Sensitive and Graphic in Nature

By Proceeding, You Agree to the Following:

(By proceeding, you agree to it whether you read this disclaimer or not)

"I understand that I am about to view graphic clinical service methodologies where videos and thumbnails show actual surgical procedures which may be too graphic for some viewers.

I agree by proceeding that I am capable to view such sensitive material, that I will not view said videos and thumbnails with those who are sensitive to such photographs, or persons who disapprove of sedation dentistry or surgery performed in these clinical ways. I understand that complaints will not be acknowledged by Dr. Jonathan H. Kim, DDS, Inc.'s site because I, the visitor have been warned of the sensitive nature of the subject matter.

By proceeding, I release Dr. Jonathan H. Kim, DDS, Inc.'s site as well as the web hosting service and/or all their affiliates from any negative reactions herein. I understand that the creator of this site has imposed passwords in the past to ensure the educational premise of the site and may impose them again if need be.

I understand I have ready access to these videos and thumbnails and will ensure these videos and thumbnails will be viewed by me and me only. I view them for the purpose of furthering my education and enlightenment about this subject matter and do not do so for any other reason or self-gratification. I understand that these photos are strictly for exemplary and educational purposes only.

I agree and promise that I will not post the location/URL of the following page, place a link to this page anywhere on any site, to any email group or bulletin board. I will only pass along the main URL for the Site. If I pass along the URL to this page to a minor, I take full responsibility for my actions and release Dr. Jonathan H. Kim, DDS, Inc. and all it's affiliates from liability.

If I am a parent and my child accessed this page or any page especially with sensitive educational videos and images, I take full responsibility for my child being unsupervised by me and for leaving my child/children alone with an open internet connection. I further admit that I failed to properly supervise my child or children."

Open late 7 Days a Week

MON-FRI 9am - 10pm
SAT - SUN 9am - 6pm

Call us: (408)259-2900

(408) TOP-BEST


Emergency Dental Care

Sensitive Teeth

What Is It?

Many of us speak of having "sensitive teeth." We usually mean that we feel twinges of pain or discomfort when our teeth encounter certain stimuli, including:

  • Cold food or drink
  • Less often, hot food or drink
  • Sweets
  • Touch

There are two main types of tooth sensitivity:

Dentinal sensitivity occurs when the dentin (middle layer) of a tooth is exposed. Normally, the dentin is protected. The part of the tooth above the gumline is covered with enamel and the tooth's roots are covered with cementum.

The dentinal layer is made of tiny openings called tubules. Inside each tubule lies a tiny nerve branch that comes from the tooth's pulp chamber in the center of the tooth. When the dentin is exposed and a stimulus, such as those listed above, can reach these nerve branches, sensitivity can occur.

Dentinal sensitivity can affect one or more teeth, depending on the cause. Causes include:

  • Too-vigorous brushing that wears away the tooth surface (enamel and/or cementum)
  • Poor oral hygiene that allows tartar to build up at the gum line, leaching minerals from the tooth
  • Long-term tooth wear
  • Decay
  • An old filling with a crack or leak
  • Gum recession, which exposes the tooth's roots. The recession is often caused by periodontal disease
  • Gum surgery that exposes the tooth's roots
  • Excessive tooth whitening in people with root surfaces already exposed

Pulpal sensitivity is a reaction of the tooth's pulp, a mass of blood vessels and nerves that sits in the center of each tooth. Pulpal sensitivity tends to affect only a single tooth. Causes include:

  • Decay or infection
  • A recent filling
  • Excessive pressure from clenching or grinding

If you experience a sharp pain upon biting, you may have a cracked tooth or a broken or cracked filling.


Both dentinal and pulpal sensitivity usually involve reactions to temperature or pressure. Sensitivity to cold drinks or foods is the most common symptom. Less often, the teeth are sensitive to hot temperatures. If a single tooth progresses from cold sensitivity to hot sensitivity, it may indicate that the tooth's nerve is dying, and root canal treatment (endodontic therapy) is necessary. If single-tooth sensitivity continues for some time after the stimulus is gone, the tooth is more likely to require root-canal treatment than if the sensitivity lasts only seconds.


Your dentists at San Jose general and cosmetic dentistry at Top Best *8* San Jose Dentists Specialists Centers - Jonathan H. Kim, DDS, Inc. will look at your dental history and will examine your mouth. He or she will ask about your oral habits because grinding or clenching your teeth can contribute to sensitivity. Your dentist also will look for decay, deep metal fillings and exposed root surfaces. He or she may use an explorer - a metal instrument with a sharp point - to test teeth for sensitivity.

If you have one sensitive tooth and it has recently had a filling - either an amalgam filling or a bonded composite resin filling - it may be sensitive to cold for several weeks. The metals in the amalgam conduct the cold very well, transmitting it to the pulp. Bonded fillings require etching the tooth with acid before the filling is placed. In some cases, this etching removes enough enamel to make the tooth sensitive. However, advances in bonding technique now make it less likely the procedure will cause tooth sensitivity.

Your dentist or endodontist will conduct sensitivity tests that can determine if root canal treatment is needed.

Expected Duration

Sensitivity that occurs after an amalgam filling is placed will go away in several weeks. However, if the tooth requires a root canal, the sensitivity will not disappear over time.

Sensitivity that occurs in multiple teeth may disappear in a short time or may continue. Every case is different. Some people have sensitive teeth for only a month or two. Others have the condition for much of their lives.


Pulpal sensitivity - There is no good way to prevent pulpal sensitivity that occurs because the tooth needs root canal treatment. If you grind or clench your teeth (bruxism), being treated for this condition may help to prevent the pulp from being overly sensitive.

Dentinal sensitivity - You might be able to reduce your chances of dentinal sensitivity by:
  • Practicing good oral hygiene, which can minimize the buildup of tartar and prevent periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to sensitivity
  • Using a soft brush and brushing gently up and down, rather than side to side, to prevent abrasion of the enamel
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse
  • Using a desensitizing toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval and provides protection against sensitivity
  • Getting treatment for bruxism


Pulpal sensitivity can be treated with a root canal in cases where the sensitivity indicates that the tooth's nerve is damaged or dying. If the sensitivity results from a new amalgam filling, it should subside without treatment in several weeks. Sensitivity caused by bruxism should diminish as the bruxism is treated.

Dentinal sensitivity is quite treatable, whatever the cause.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will clean your teeth. If your teeth are too sensitive to be cleaned, your dentist may use a local anesthetic or nitrous oxide before the cleaning.

After a cleaning, your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish-based treatment to protect your teeth. This reduces the sensitivity and strengthens your teeth. This treatment reduces sensitivity temporarily. Your dentist also may apply an in-office treatment for sensitivity. These products contain substances that block the openings (tubules) in your teeth and reduce sensitivity.

At home, the use of fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses also will help to reduce sensitivity. Toothpastes are also available specifically for sensitive teeth.

Talk to your dentist about which fluoride rinses you should use. Some over-the-counter rinses are acidic. Others are not. You should choose a fluoride mouth rinse that uses neutral sodium fluoride.

When To Call A Professional

If you have sensitivity that lasts for longer than a few weeks, contact your dentist. Or if you have a scheduled cleaning coming up soon, talk to your dentist then about your sensitivity and possible causes. Most cases of tooth sensitivity are treated easily.


The outlook is different for each individual. Some people have only short-term tooth sensitivity, while others deal with the condition for many years.

Additional Information

American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 440-2500
Fax: (312) 440-2800

Call Today for dental services
Follow Us:

See what actual patients have to say about Top Best *8* San Jose Dentists Specialists Centers.

You will quickly see and hear why everyone thinks we are the best.

View an large array of special offers and deals that only Top Best *8* San Jose Dentists Specialists Centers can offer.

Save thousands on braces and more.

See real people having actual procedures at top best *8* San Jose Dentists Specialists Centers.

Information, education, and more!