Are you constantly avoiding eating cold types of food or drinking hot beverages because your teeth become painful when you do so? Do you know what causes this problem? Maybe its time to find out what causes sensitive teeth, right? After all, if you don’t, you’ll miss out a lot of simple pleasures in life like eating ice cream or having a cup of coffee.
Approximately 40 million adults in the United States experience tooth sensitivity, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Tooth sensitivity can affect one or more teeth and it commonly occurs when you eat or drink something hot, cold, sweet, or sour. Sometimes a breath of cold air can set it off. The pain can be sharp and sudden and can shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth.
Teeth sensitivity or dentin hypersensitivity occurs whenever dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum, exposing the nerve endings to hot, cold, acidic or sticky foods. The following are also common causes of sensitive teeth:
- Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause a wear-and-tear effect which can expose the dentin.
- Certain gum diseases like gingivitis which involves inflamed and sore gums that pull back and expose the roots of your teeth.
- Chipped or broken teeth may fill with bacteria. The bacteria can enter the pulp, causing inflammation.
- Too much grinding or clenching of your teeth may wear down the enamel and expose the dentin.
- Excessive use of tooth-whitening products.
- Teeth also become more sensitive between ages 25 and 30.
- Plaque buildup.
- Acidic types of food.
The good news is, it’s easy to prevent dentin hypersensitivity and here are some ways:
- Brush, floss, and rinse regularly.
- Use proper brushing and flossing techniques to thoroughly clean all parts of your teeth and mouth.
- Rinse with a fluoride and antiseptic mouthwash daily.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
- Avoid lots of highly acidic foods and drinks.
- Don’t grind your teeth. Use a mouth guard at night.