Tooth sensitivity is an oral condition known as “dentin hypersensitivity” and can be caused by receding gums and damaged enamel exposing the softer, inner part of the tooth called ‘dentin.’


In the surface of the dentin there are microscopic openings called dentin tubules which lead to the nerves of the tooth. In a healthy mouth, these tubules are covered by gum tissue and cementum (the soft covering of the tooth root) or enamel.

And when dentin becomes exposed, food or drinks that may never have hurt your teeth before can begin to cause sharp pain. This happens because foods like hot coffee or even ice water directly stimulate the nerve in your tooth through the dentin tubules, resulting in a sharp shooting pain known as dentin hypersensitivity. Only a dentist can confirm if you have dentin hypersensitivity, but in the meantime, you can minimize symptoms and prevent further damage by making simple changes to your dietary habits and daily oral health care routine.

Woman smiling with white teeth
5 Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

LISTERINE® Sensitivity

Choosing the Right Routine

To help shield and protect areas of your teeth where tooth structure, including enamel and cementum (the soft covering of the root), has been lost, use LISTERINE® Sensitivity with CRYSTAL BLOCK™ Technology, an alcohol-free formula. The exposure of the dentin tubules can lead to those sharp pains in your teeth, but you can have 24-hour relief with continued use of LISTERINE® Sensitivity.

Our CRYSTAL BLOCK™ Technology starts working immediately* to block tooth sensitivity by blocking exposed dentin tubules. Potassium oxalate binds to calcium in saliva to form calcium oxalate crystals which are then deposited on the dentin, clustering inside the dentin tubules and blocking the pathway to the nerves inside your teeth. After just 6 rinses with LISTERINE® Sensitivity, this patented mouthwash formula with CRYSTAL BLOCK™ Technology aids in blocking 97% of the exposed dentin tubules.**

Before after after senstivity image

* Relief in two weeks, with continued use.

** In laboratory studies.