Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common oral issues that human beings encounter.
Sensitive teeth have the ability to make eating and drinking a flat out miserable experience. Things we take for granted like drinking a nice cold glass of water on a hot summer day, or enjoying a large ice cream cone with sprinkles after that delicious dinner can be completely ruined by sensitive teeth.
At one point or another you have probably experienced tooth sensitivity when drinking or biting into something cold, and I’m sure it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience.
Imagine if you had to face that dreaded feeling every single time you drink or eat something cold. Or even worse, if it happened every time you drank or ate anything period… not even something that is cold.
Well, for those who have truly sensitive teeth, this can be the harsh reality.
The bottom line is that having sensitive teeth can be pure torture and ruin the pleasures of eating and drinking.
Now that we got the obvious out of the way, lets dig into some of the details about tooth sensitivity.
First we will discuss what causes sensitive teeth and then we will take a look at how you can work to eliminate your sensitive teeth.
Lets get started …
The Main Causes of Sensitive Teeth
Many things can cause sensitive teeth. If your teeth are not yet sensitive, it is important that you know the main causes in order to avoid the issue all together. If you already are experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is important you know the main causes so you can change your habits and get your teeth back to tip top shape.
Before we get into the main causes of tooth sensitivity, lets talk about what exactly is going on in your mouth when you feel these unwanted sensations.
Inside of you teeth there is something called Dentin. Dentin covers and protects the nerves inside of your teeth. Inside of your Dentin there are tiny hollow tubes or holes know as canals. When you feel tooth sensitivity, this means that your Dentin is exposed and liquids or food is getting inside of these tiny tubes and in return is hitting your nerves. This results in the sensitivity sensations that you experience.
Ok, now that you know what is taking place, lets take a dive into some of the most common reasons people experience sensitive teeth.
#1 Too Many Acidic Foods and Beverages
Consuming too much acidic food can reek havoc on your teeth. I’m not saying you need to completely eliminate all acidic foods from you diet, but if you have sensitive teeth, then you will definitely want to reduce the amount of acidic foods. They are fine in moderation, but when you consume a lot of these foods the acid can begin to wear your enamel away.
Your enamel protects your dentin, so eventually when your enamel gets worn down so far, your teeth can begin to feel sensitive.
Some foods that are high in acid include soda, wine, sports drinks, fruits, grains, sugars, processed foods, and fish.
After eating highly acidic foods, it is a good idea to equalize them by consuming food or beverages such as milk, water, eggs, cheese, toast etc…
Essentially if you are going to be consuming foods that are highly acidic, make sure you are also eating foods that contain low acidic levels to neutralize the effects.
#2 Some Teeth Whitening Products
With at home teeth whitening becoming more and more popular, more and more people are experiencing sensitive teeth.
Whether it be teeth whitening strips, kits, or dental procedures, it is normal to experience some sensitivity after whitening your teeth.
One important thing to note when whitening your teeth is that if you have sensitive teeth before whitening, then you need to address the condition before using a teeth whitening product. This is because whitening your teeth will only make your condition worse.
The reason teeth whitening products cause sensitivity is because some of the ingredients can be harsh. The active ingredients are designed to penetrate your tooth’s enamel and do its magic from the inside out. When this happens, it gets into your dentin and causes sensitivity.
In most cases, sensitivity from teeth whitening is short term and will often go away within a day. However, as I mentioned, if you teeth were sensitive before you started your whitening routine, then they will become worse and the effects will last longer.
If you want that bright celebrity smile without the sensitivity issues, then you can look into more natural, homemade teeth whitening solutions which are 100% safe and natural.
#3 Grinding Your Teeth
If you are a chronic tooth grinder, more than likely you experience sensitive teeth. This is because by grinding you teeth, you are actually wearing the enamel down and exposing your dentin.
Some people have issues with grinding their teeth while sleeping. If that is you, it is highly recommended that you get a mouth piece or consult your doctor to come up with a solution.
If you find yourself grinding your teeth during the day, you need to make a conscious effort to reduce and finally stop doing it. Try to figure out what is causing you to do this. Are you anxious, stressed, mad…etc?
Grinding your teeth too much can cause irreparable harm and your tooth sensitivity problems could hang around forever.
#4 Decaying Teeth and Cavities
Another cause of sensitive teeth is tooth decay and cavities. Both of these expose your dentin, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
Go to your dentist for an exam. They will fill any cavities and address your tooth decay so that you do not have to suffer from sensitive teeth.
#5 Teeth That are Cracked
Cracked teeth can often result in tooth sensitivity. In most cases it will only affect the tooth or teeth that are actually cracked, but it can still be annoying.
If you have a cracked tooth and are experiencing sensitivity, this is because you have broke the whole way through the enamel, and whatever you are consuming is making its way to you dentin and nerves.
Well, its pretty simple… go to the dentist and they will fix the cracked tooth or teeth. This should stop any sensitivity that you are feeling.
#6 Aggressive Brushing
You don’t need to turn into the incredible hulk when you pick the toothbrush up. If you have sensitive teeth and you have no clue how or why, it very well could be that you are brushing a little too hard.
When you brush too aggressively, you run the risk of wearing down your tooths enamel. If you brush your teeth 2-3 times a day, you can see that you can wear away your enamel pretty quickly.
First, stop brushing so dang hard. Let the toothbrush do the work. You may want to check up on the proper way to brush your teeth.
Another tip is to buy a toothbrush that has softer bristles. Softer bristles combined with a softer brushing will prevent any future sensitivity issues.
Ok, there you have it, the main causes of tooth sensitivity and how you can fix each issue.
Another thing worth mentioning is that if you are experiencing sensitive teeth due to any reason, you should look into grabbing some sensitivity correcting toothpaste such as Sensodyne.
This type of toothpaste works to “re-harden” your tooths enamel over time so that the sensitivity goes away and stays away.
Good luck and take action!