Do you like food?
Do you enjoy eating satisfying meals that are bursting with flavor? Don’t you just love that painful sensation that runs through your teeth as you bite into…
Wait, that’s not right.
Eating shouldn’t be painful. Unfortunately, it is a common issue for many. According to a survey of US dental offices, one in eight adults suffer from over-sensitive teeth.
What causes sensitive teeth, and how do you find relief? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth
There are lots of reasons why you might have sensitive teeth. It might even be caused by a combination of factors working together. These are some of the most common culprits responsible for teeth sensitivity.
Teeth Cleaning Habits
You might think you have good teeth cleaning habits. You brush and floss each day, use mouthwash and the occasional whitening product. Unfortunately, even good intentions don’t always produce the best results.
For starters, sensitive teeth are often caused by brushing too hard. Over time zealous or vigorous brushing leads to the breakdown of your enamel. This exposes tiny tubes that connect to your dental nerves, which react to different stimuli to cause that feeling of sensitivity.
It is also possible that your toothpaste or mouthwash is to blame. Some people find the whitening chemicals in dental products too harsh for their teeth. If you think this might be you, try limiting your use of whitening substances or purchase products designed for sensitive teeth.
When the enamel on your teeth gets worn down, the middle layer, known as dentin, is exposed. Dentin is not as strong as enamel and leaves your tooth vulnerable to temperature changes and substances that cause discomfort.
Certain activities, such as grinding your teeth while sleeping, accelerate the breakdown of your enamel. Investing in a mouth guard is how to stop sensitive teeth pain caused by grinding.
Gum health plays an integral role in teeth sensitivity. When you don’t practice proper dental hygiene, over time, your gums begin to recede, exposing the lower portions of your teeth. If left unchecked, this creates more serious issues, such as gingivitis or gum disease.
Even well-looked-after gums can be responsible for sensitive teeth. Similar to rigorous brushing, aggressive flossing can cut or bruise your gums. Although the damage is to the flesh, many people experience the pain in the form of increased teeth sensitivity.
Breaks, Cavities, and Previous Dental Work
When the pain is a bit more intense, the root of your problems may be of a more serious nature. When a tooth gets chipped, cracked, or broken, it leaves the dental nerve exposed and vulnerable. If this happens, you will likely experience sharp localized pain, especially when eating or drinking.
Cavities function in much the same way as a broken tooth in that they increase exposure to the dental nerve. The difference is that cavities happen over time. The pain might go unnoticed for a while or begin as a dull ache or heightened sensitivity.
It is possible that your sensitive teeth are being caused by previous dental work. One of your dental fillings might need to be repaired or expanded. If you’re not sure of the cause of your sensitive teeth, the best thing to do is make an appointment with your dentist from Kumra Orthodontics Washington DC.
How to Get Rid of Sensitive Teeth
Dealing with sensitive teeth is a pain. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent and alleviate the problem.
Practice Good Hygiene
Take good care of your teeth. Practicing proper dental hygiene seems obvious to some, but in reality, 33% of adults are doing it wrong. They are either brushing too little or too much.
Under brushing leads to a buildup of plaque which degrades tooth enamel over time. Overbrushing eliminates the bacteria that produce plaque, but it also takes its toll on the integrity of your enamel.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, twice a day. They encourage the use of a soft-bristled brush and replacing it every three to four months. Gentle flossing once per day is also encouraged.
Change Your Diet
Food plays a big part in the health of your teeth. Stick with a balanced diet that is rich in fiber and calcium. Limit your sugar, and starch intake as these substances leave a coating on your teeth that encourages bacteria growth.
Acidic foods such as citrus, tomato sauce, vinegar, and coffee tend to exacerbate sensitive teeth. Try replacing these foods with milder options. For example, black and green tea are good substitutes for coffee as they contain properties that help prevent plaque buildup.
Visit Your Dentist
What if you’ve tried everything, nothing’s worked, and you’re still wondering how to help sensitive teeth? If that sounds like you, then it’s time to call in some backup. After a thorough examination, your dentist will be able to shed some light on the issue.
Their experience and equipment make them better suited to assess the cause of your teeth sensitivity. They’ll also be able to provide you tips and guidance on how to stop sensitive teeth pain.
Just Keep Smiling
Your sensitive teeth might be caused by something simple like over-brushing or an acidic diet. However, there is a chance that something more serious is at play. If you’re not sure what is causing your sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
In the meantime, be proactive about your dental health. Brush and floss regularly and eat a balanced diet. For more helpful tips to keep you healthy, check out some of our other inspiring content.