What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Do you ever bite into a popsicle or ice cream and feel a jolting pain in your mouth? Have you ever taken a bite of your fresh hot meal and flinched with discomfort? If you said yes to either of these questions, you could have sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are easily irritated and can be very painful when exposed to certain elements, such as heat and cold. These temperatures send nerve signals to your brain from the center of your teeth. This is why you have to protect the outer layer of your teeth, called the enamel.  

The following circumstances and materials wear away the protective coverings of your teeth and can cause sensitivity by exposing the dentin and roots. 

Receding Gums 

Your gums protect the roots of your teeth, but certain conditions, such as periodontal disease, can result in gums moving away from your teeth. This leaves the roots prone to irritation, which can cause tooth pain and sensitivity. 

Acidic Foods and Drinks 

Highly acidic foods and drinks (citrus fruits, lentils, olives, tomatoes, fruit juice, soda) can eat away at the enamel on your teeth and cause sensitivity by exposing the dentin beneath them. There are microscopic holes in the dentin that allow the tooth nerves to be stimulated and cause pain. After eating acidic foods or drinking acidic drinks, neutralizing the acids by eating or drinking neutral substances like cheese or milk will help prevent your teeth from being damaged by the acid. Another alternative is using a straw when drinking acidic drinks so there is no direct contact with your teeth. 

Whitening Products 

Some teeth whiteners that have peroxide-based bleaching solutions can cause tooth sensitivity. If you whiten your teeth, we recommend you speak with your dentist about the best product for you. Dr. Manfredi offers a variety of teeth whitening treatments and will recommend the ideal whitening procedure for you. 

Too Frequent Use of Mouthwash 

Mouthwash is something that helps eliminate the bacteria in your mouth and is helpful. However, the acids in most mouthwashes can result in teeth sensitivity or irritate teeth that are already sensitive. Even though it may be nice to have minty fresh breath after each meal, stick to using mouthwash only once or twice per day to avoid tooth sensitivity.  

How to Avoid Sensitive Teeth 

To prevent sensitive teeth, always brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Gentle strokes when brushing and also not using abrasive toothpaste helps a lot. Daily oral care routine plays a huge role in ensuring your teeth are healthy at all times. If you grind your teeth, you should consider getting a mouth guard from your dentist that is fitted to your mouth 

If you are sick of experiencing tooth sensitivityschedule an appointment with Dr. Manfredi. He will check the health of your teeth and check for other potential problems like cavities, loose fillings or recessed gums. At Artista Dental Studio, we’ll work with you to ensure you have a healthy mouth!