Simply put, sensitive teeth are no fun. The jolt of pain that comes from sensitive teeth can take away from otherwise enjoyable moments – your morning cuppa, a glass of cold water or tucking into a bowl of ice cream. Even a cold breeze can cause discomfort.
At our dental clinic in Tauriko, tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints from our patients, which is why we wanted to share the main causes – and treatments – of sensitive teeth.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth
Often described by sufferers as a sharp or sudden pain, sensitive teeth occur when the inner tooth layer – the dentin – becomes exposed. This can either happen from receding gums or from wearing away of enamel, the tooth’s protective coating.
Over-brushing your Teeth
Dentists are always telling you to brush your teeth, but it’s important not to over-brush.
Brushing too vigorously is a double whammy, wearing down enamel and causing gums to recede. If you think you’re over-brushing, talk to the dentists or dental hygienists at Tauranga Crossing Dental about how to be gentler with your teeth.
While people are often worried about foods that can stain their teeth, dentists are more concerned about foods that damage the tooth’s enamel. Highly acidic foods including citrus, coffee and even some grains are the worst contributors to weakened enamel.
Bacteria feeds on sugar, so when you have a diet high in sugar you can be sure that bacteria are having a field day in your mouth. These bacteria produce acid which, like acidic food, eats away at your enamel.
What Can I Do About Sensitive Teeth?
Well, first things first, see a dentist. Your dental health professional will have a look in your mouth, assessing your enamel and looking for gum recession. They’ll also look for signs of something else going on like gum irritation, cavities and fillings that need replacing.
There are also things you can do at home to treat and prevent sensitive teeth. Brush twice a day – not too hard! – with a soft-bristle toothbrush, floss daily, use desensitising toothpaste, limit acidic and sugary foods and always wait 20 minutes after a very acidic meal before brushing your teeth.
Concerned about tooth sensitivity? Make an appointment with one of the dentists at Tauranga Crossing Dental clinic in Tauriko – 07 543 1123.