Have you noticed that after you take a sip of cold water or take a bite into a candy bar, a sharp flash of pain in your teeth? Many people think this is normal or that maybe something is wrong with you. Chances are you experiencing tooth sensitivity, which many things can cause. The enamel surface of healthy teeth helps protect the layer of dentin underneath them. Pain develops when this enamel is worn down, causing the dentin and microscopic canals that run through the dentin to be exposed. Tooth enamel can become worn for several reasons. Here are a few things that may be causing your enamel to wear and cause tooth sensitivity:
While brushing your teeth is an essential part of maintaining your oral health, if you brush your teeth too roughly, it can lead to tooth sensitivity. When you brush, the coating that protects your teeth wears down over time, which exposes the microscopic ducts that lead to your nerves. So, make sure to be aware of how you are brushing your teeth and stick to using soft rather than firm bristles.
Acidic foods like tomatoes and lemons can wear down your enamel and expose the dentin beneath it. Also, when the microscopic canals are exposed, eating acidic food can cause pain or discomfort.
Teeth grinding is a common behavior that some people do at night, without even knowing it. It puts their teeth at high risk of enamel erosion. To counteract this, your dentist can recommend a custom mouthguard, which can help protect your teeth from grinding while asleep and reduce sensitivity.
Anytime we eat plaque forms and builds on our teeth. And when you do not regularly remove this from your teeth, it can be harmful to enamel. So, the best thing you can do is maintain good oral hygiene, including regular flossing and brushing. It would help if you also had your teeth cleaned at least twice a year.
Gums surround all of your teeth, and when they are damaged, they begin to recede, which exposes more and more of the tooth. It can result in tooth sensitivity. If you have noticed some changes in your gums, speak to your dentist about improving your gum health and decreasing the sensitivity.
It is common for teeth to crack when biting into hard foods. Cracks expose the nerves of your teeth and cause discomfort. Bacteria can collect in the cracks and can cause cavities and even more pain. Speak to a dentist as soon as possible.
While using mouthwash is a great way to eliminate bacteria, tooth sensitivity can occur due to the harsh chemicals present in some mouthwashes. The best thing to do to avoid sensitivity is to limit how often you use mouthwash or to dilute or use a less harsh option. Speak to your dentist for recommendations.
If you are experiencing any form of tooth sensitivity, let the dentists at Foothill Dental Care in Livermore know at your dental appointment. We are here to help you find a treatment option that will work for you. Give us a call today at (925) 961-5484.