Sensitive teeth. They’re the bane of any ice cream lover, but what’s causing that wince inducing tooth pain?
There are many causes of tooth sensitivity and it goes beyond cold beverages and rich sweets, and luckily you can take action to lessen tooth sensitivity and bolster your oral defenses.
Here are some causes of sensitive teeth and ten ways you can combat the dental discomfort.
Brushing With Too Much Force
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by brushing with too much pressure or an especially hard-bristled toothbrush.
Brushing too hard will wear down your precious, protective enamel exposing microscopic hollow tubes that lead to your dental nerves. These exposed tubes can’t withstand extreme temperatures or extra sweet foods.
The easiest solution is to switch to a toothbrush with softer bristles and try not to use tooth brushing as an outlet for frustration, be gentle when you brush.
Using Tooth-Whitening Toothpaste
Tooth-whitening toothpaste is hard to resist. Everyone wants a bright smile, and whitening paste seems like a one way ticket to perfect teeth, but some people are sensitive to the whitening chemicals that manufacturers use in these products.
Consider switching to either a non-whitening toothpaste or being more conscious of the contents in the tube.
Eating Too Many Acidic Foods
Like brushing too hard, acidic foods like tomato sauce, lemons, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles can work to expose your dental nerves. To add insult to sensitivity, remember these foods not only wear down the enamel they cause the pain itself.
Try your best to avoid these foods when you can, but don’t feel like you have to make a serious diet change. Just being aware of the effects will help you make better decisions for your dental health.
Similar to whitening toothpaste, some mouthwashes contain alcohol and other chemicals that can damage your teeth leading to pain and sensitivity. It seems like everything meant to be good for you is bad. Is there a clever saying about this?
Your best bet to avoid any damage from overpowered mouthwashes is to try neutral fluoride rinses, alcohol free options, or simply skipping the rinse and being more diligent about flossing and brushing.
Gum disease or gingivitis bring with them a slew of problems, but the one responsible for sensitivity is receding gums. Receding gums are increasingly common with age sometimes regardless of any diseases.
If gum disease or gingivitis is the problem your dentist will plan a way to treat the underlying cause and that will likely fix the pain. Your dentist may suggest a procedure to reseal your teeth, restoring them to a protected state.
Plaque gathers on our teeth from the food we eat, it’s the reason we brush our teeth in the first place to remove that plaque. Without proper brushing a buildup of plaque can form that causes the enamel of the tooth to decay. As we know, without the enamel our teeth are very sensitive, the means ice cream becomes the enemy.
The clear solution to plaque build up is to practice a daily dental routine and to visit your dentist for cleaning every six months or more if necessary.
No More Sensitivity
Whether you decide to change up your brushing style, mouthwash, or diet, tooth sensitivity is treatable.
You may find help from some of the toothpastes made specifically for sensitive teeth; while these don’t have the same effects for everyone it is a good place to start.
If nothing seems to help you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. An office visit is a surefire way to find the cause in your particular case.