Does drinking ice water make your teeth hurt? Or are their certain drinks or foods that seem to make your teeth ache?
Tooth sensitivity is not normal so why do teeth become sensitive? Today I thought I’d share 6 common causes of sensitive teeth… and how to avoid them. But first a quick tooth biology lesson.
The outer layer of your tooth is called the Enamel. It is a hard outer shell that has the job of protecting your teeth against decay. In fact, dental enamel is harder than your bones. Decay is caused by acid in your mouth that comes from the bacteria in your mouth. When the enamel gets thin, damaged, or worn away from wear or injury the bacteria love to hide in the crevices and microscopic holes, creating more acid that finally gets through the enamel to the softer dentin of your tooth. Once the acid gets to your dentin it can quickly get to the nerves in your teeth causing tooth pain. So, anything that can cause the enamel to wear down or get thin can cause tooth pain or sensitivity.
OK, enough of the biology lesson. How can we avoid or relieve sensitive teeth?6 Common Causes of Sensitive Teeth
1. You brush too hard.
As I mentioned in my recent Facebook post, brushing hard or with a stiff toothbrush can wear down the enamel layer of your teeth. It can also make your gums recede exposing the roots of your teeth to bacteria. Use s soft-bristled brush, like the one’s we give you when you come in for your checkup, and use a massaging action rather than scrubbing your teeth. And remember to floss.2. You eat acidic foods or drinks.
Some food and drinks are more acidic than others. Acidic foods include tomatoes (whole, juice, and sauce), grapefruit, lemons, and pickles. If your tooth nerves are exposed these acids can cause sensitivity... Speaking of acids, if you eat or drink acidic foods, wait for an hour before brushing your teeth. Acids can temporarily soften the enamel and brushing can wear it down.3. You have excessive plaque.
Brushing helps disrupt the bacteria that cause plaque buildup after you eat so it doesn’t have a chance to accumulate and harden. It can also remove the newly laid plaque before it hardens. Plaque buildup can cause enamel to wear away making your teeth susceptible to the acids that cause sensitive teeth. Just remember to brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes each time.4. You grind your teeth.
Enamel is the strongest substance in your body but grinding your teeth can wear it down. Most tooth grinding problems occur when you sleep. We can make a special mouth guard for patients to wear at night that protects your teeth from grinding and the damage it can do. Just ask us.5. You constantly use mouthwash.
Many people use mouthwash to make sure their breath stays fresh. But many mouthwashes contain alcohol that can make your teeth more sensitive. It can especially cause problems when your enamel is worn away in places. Look at the ingredients in your mouthwash. Try to select one that doesn’t contain alcohol but does contain fluoride. That should help. Also, read my blog article, “6 Reasons You Might Have Bad Breath—And What To Do About It.”6. You have a cracked tooth
– A chipped or cracked tooth, again, exposes your dentin to the acids in your mouth. Usually a chipped or cracked tooth causes more than just tooth sensitivity. It can produce real pain. If you have sudden tooth pain it could be because of a cracked tooth. With regular dental visits and teeth x-rays we can usually find cracks before they cause that pain and we can take care of the problem.
So, if you have sensitive teeth try to avoid these 6 things that cause them. Then please make sure you tell us when you come in so we can help determine what is causing it and fix the problem.(For more information visit https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/10-biggest-causes-of-tooth-sensitivity.aspx)