5 Reasons Why You May Have Sensitive Teeth

Have you ever felt pain in your teeth as you take a sip of your morning coffee or bite into your favorite ice cream? Or are some teeth more sensitive than others when you brush and floss?

If you have sensitive teeth, they don’t need to rule your life. This condition is usually treatable with simple changes to your oral healthcare routine. Start by switching your toothpaste to one that is made specifically for sensitive teeth. If the pain persists, schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine the cause and solution.

Here are five reasons you may be experiencing sensitive teeth and some additional steps you can take to help ease the pain.

1) There’s too much acid in your diet.

If you already have sensitive teeth, acidic foods like tomato sauce, pickles, fresh grapefruit, and oranges could be making the problem worse. Try reducing or eliminating these foods in your diet to see if you notice a difference.

2) You’re brushing your teeth too hard.

Perhaps the most common reason people have sensitive teeth is because they use too much pressure when they brush.

If you brush too hard for too long, you will slowly begin to wear down the protective layers of your teeth, putting them at risk for nerve exposure. If this goes on for a long time, you’re likely to experience sensitive teeth on a regular basis. To prevent this, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply only gentle pressure when brushing.

3) You’re grinding your teeth.

If you’re grinding your teeth while you sleep, their protective layer may wear down over time. This can expose tissues of the teeth that may cause them to become sensitive. To prevent this, your dentist can make you a custom-fitted mouth guard that may help to reduce grinding.

4) You’re overusing your mouthwash.

Most mouthwashes are great products, but they should be used in moderation. In many cases, mouthwashes contain a high concentration of alcohol and chemicals that can contribute to tooth sensitivity. If you think this may be causing your sensitive teeth, try switching to a non-alcoholic fluoride rinse, or stop using the mouthwash altogether.

Use a non-alcoholic rinse with fluoride.

5) You have receding gums or gum disease.

Receding gums are often a result of aging, but if you haven’t kept up with regular teeth cleaning, flossing, or dental check-ups, you’re at increased risk. Likewise, if you have gum disease or gingivitis, you may also have sensitive teeth. Talk to your dentist and ask them to create treatment plan, which may include a procedure to seal the teeth to keep them protected.

About the Author

Brad King, DMD, PC
King Dental in Portland, OR

The information on this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Tooth Wisdom® and Oral Health America do not recommend or endorse any specific dentists, products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned. See full Terms & Conditions.

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