A Pain in the Tooth! It’s that sudden, sharp shooting pain that you feel in a tooth or set of teeth after eating food or consuming a drink. The discomfort can be excruciating until you eliminate the source and cause of the sensitivity. Approximately 38% of adults have experienced and suffer from tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity often occurs after consuming foods that are sweet, sour, hot, cold or acidic. The sensitivity can even occur after simply breathing in cold air. So, what causes tooth sensitivity and how can you treat it? What Causes Tooth Sensitivity? When the underlying layer of your tooth, called dentin, is exposed, thousands of tiny tubules also become exposed. These tubules lead to your tooth’s nerve center. When they become stimulated from the food you eat, you experience tooth pain and sensitivity.