tooth sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity: The What, How and Why

Have you ever taken a big sip of iced tea only to wince in pain? Perhaps you’ve noticed that eating sweet or sour foods has become an agonizing experience. Tooth sensitivity is relatively common, and doesn’t necessarily mean you have unhealthy teeth. Keep reading to see what may be the cause and what solutions there are to make your smile more comfortable!

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when there is a wearing down of the tooth enamel. Additionally, when the gums recede, it exposes layers of the teeth that will trigger a sensation of pain to the nerve of the tooth when exposed to heat, cold, or even sugar.

The Root Cause

There are several factors that may be contributing to the enamel of your teeth thinning. Acidic foods and drinks attack enamel. This includes things like: soda, candy, and high-sugar carbs. Brushing too hard will remove more than just plaque. It can contribute to a reduction in enamel and even gum recession. In addition, teeth grinding can also wear away enamel.

How to Treat Tooth Sensitivity

After a thorough examination, identifying any cavities, cracks, or gum recession, your dentist may suggest using a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. They help build a protective barrier over sensitive areas. Other helpful solutions are cutting down on acidic foods, increasing your fiber intake, switching your toothbrush, and wearing a mouthguard. Snacks like fiber-rich fruits and vegetables or plain yogurt will moisten your mouth, helping to fight the bacteria that will eat away at your teeth. Some electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors to encourage gentle brushing, which can help protect your teeth and gums. If you grind your teeth, it may be time to invest in a mouthguard. You can always replace a mouthguard or toothbrush, but not your enamel!

If tooths sensitivity starts affecting your daily activities like eating, drinking or talking, you should let your dental health professional know. Although most times tooth sensitivity can be easily treated, it may be an indicator of bigger issues. Let us know at your next appointment if you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity.