Does sipping on a hot drink or enjoying a cold ice cream make you cringe? Do you experience a sharp pain deep within your tooth? Do you find yourself no longer enjoying certain foods? Tooth sensitivity is very common while eating cold or hot foods. There are several reasons you could be experiencing sensitive teeth and ways to prevent or reduce this uncomfortable sensation.
Why Do People Experience Tooth Sensitivity?
Every tooth is protected by a layer called enamel, which guards the surface of your teeth from its nerve center, preventing sensitivity from occurring. Just under the gum line there is a secondary layer called Dentin. Dentin is at the base of your tooth and has many pores that lead to the nerve center. When Dentin comes in contact with certain foods it can cause a very uncomfortable sensation. When we no longer have enough enamel to protect the surface of your teeth, or when your gums recede exposing the dentin, many foods you consume reach the nerves of your tooth causing sensitivity.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Many day-to-day activities can be causing tooth sensitivity. It’s important that you practice a regular dental routine to make sure that you are properly taking care of your teeth. Here is a list of common causes of tooth sensitivity:
- Wear and tear of tooth enamel
- Tooth decay
- Grinding your teeth
- Whitening products
- Acidic foods and drinks
- Gum disease
What Are Ways to Prevent Sensitive Teeth?
If you suffer from sensitive teeth the key to remedying your sensitivity relies on healthy dental habits. You should consider using a soft bristled toothbrush to protect your gums, as well as sensitive tooth paste (such as Pronamel or Sensodyne) and and other fluoride dental products.
Additionally, what you eat has a major impact on your teeth. Try avoiding very acidic foods or drinks like lemonade, wine, black coffee, and orange juice. Use a straw to protect your tooth enamel while drinking acidic drinks. Many of the things that you eat can wear off your enamel and make it painful to enjoy the foods you love. Keep in mind what you eat and how often you eat it because it can be effecting the strength of your teeth. Wait around 30 minutes after eating or drinking something very acidic to brush your teeth since brushing right after while your enamel is softened can actually be more harmful than waiting.
Finally, be careful not to grind your teeth since it also tears down tooth enamel. Become self-aware to any daytime tooth grinding – try determining when you are doing it and what may be causing you to do it since tooth grinding can be a sign of stress. If you find that you grind your teeth while you sleep, you should consider wearing a mouth guard at night to protect your teeth from further damage.
The key take away is to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent sensitivity in your teeth. Talk to your doctor if you have other questions or concerns about your tooth sensitivity. Remember that it’s important to address any discomfort you experience during your dental check-ups to offer you the best dental attention necessary.