Do you experience dental discomfort whenever you drink an ice cold beverage? Or do you feel pain when you brush or floss your teeth? This could be caused by a condition known as tooth sensitivity.
The good news is that you don’t have to put up with this pain forever, and there are various things that could be done to lessen the discomfort and improve your overall oral health. Let’s look at seven of the most common reasons why you could be experiencing this pain and ways you can achieve relief for sensitive teeth:
1. You brush your teeth too vigorously
Sometimes tooth sensitivity is caused by brushing too vigorously or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Doing so wears down the protective layers of your teeth over time and exposes the canals that lead to your dental nerves. Once this happens, exposing these canals to extreme temperatures or highly acidic foods and drinks will result in discomfort and tooth sensitivity. What’s the solution? Simply switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush and be more gentle when brushing.
2. You consume acidic foods
As already mentioned above, if the pathways to your nerves are exposed, eating acidic foods like lemons, tomato sauces, grapefruits, pickles, and kiwis will result in pain. Avoiding such foods or mixing them into a meal will help you avoid discomfort.
3. You grind your teeth
Did you know that tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body? But this doesn’t mean that it can withstand constant tooth grinding. This habit will expose the dentin or the middle layer of the tooth where the tubes leading to your nerves are located. If you’re a tooth-grinder, talk to your dentist about getting a custom-made tooth guard that will help you stop from grinding.
4. You use the wrong mouthwash or toothpaste
Many toothpastes contain tooth-whitening chemicals, to which some people may be more sensitive than others. As with these toothpastes, many mouthwashes contain alcohol and other chemicals that could be causing your teeth to be more sensitive. Try switching to a toothpaste without whitening agents and use a mouthwash that is alcohol-free.
5. You’ve got gum disease
The dental condition of receding gums which is more common with age can be the cause of your sensitive teeth. If you have gingivitis or other gum diseases, talk to your dentist to come up with a plan to treat this problem. One option that may be suggested is a special procedure to seal your teeth.
6. Your tooth is cracked
A cracked or chipped tooth can result in pain that is more than just sensitivity. In such cases, it’s best to get your tooth evaluated by a dentist so that the right treatment plan, such as a cap or an extraction can be appointed.
7. You have excessive plaque
The main purpose of why we floss and brush our teeth is to remove the plaque that forms every time after we eat. An excessive buildup of plaque will wear down your tooth enamel. As more enamel is lost, your teeth will start being more and more sensitive over time. That is why it’s so important to practice good daily dental hygiene and not forget to visit your dentist at least every six months for cleanings, or more frequently if necessary.
If your tooth sensitivity is severe and doesn’t go away no matter what you do, then it’s time for you to visit your dentist. Sensitive teeth can be a sign of a more serious dental condition, which will need to be treated first to alleviate the pain. Only an in-office evaluation can determine the cause of your discomfort and provide the most effective solution to your specific situation.