Is a taste of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes a painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have a common problem called “sensitive teeth.”
Following are the most common cause for those aches and pains:
Using Too Much Mouthwash
Love keeping your breath minty fresh? If you grab frequent swigs of mouthwash throughout the day, you may be setting yourself up for sensitive teeth. That’s because some mouthwashes contain acids that may make already-sensitive teeth worse. The solution: Ask your dentist about neutral fluoride rinses.
Eating Acidic Foods
Can’t get enough tomatoes, citrus, fruit juices, and other acidic goodies? Your teeth can. Enjoy too many acid-rich foods and drinks and you could erode the protective enamel on your teeth, exposing the vulnerable dentin beneath. Can’t give up these tart favorites? Help neutralize the acids with a piece of cheese or glass of milk after eating.
Tooth Whiteners and Some Toothpastes
Just about everyone wants a brighter smile, but for some people, tooth whiteners and toothpastes with peroxide-based bleaching solutions can cause sensitive teeth. The sensitivity is often temporary, going away once you stop using the product. Looking for the best options for you? Talk to your dentist.
The roots of your teeth contain thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the nerve center of your teeth. Usually teeth roots are hidden under a protective cover of gum tissue. But if you have periodontal disease, the gums may start pulling away from teeth, exposing the ultra-sensitive root. Receding gums need a dentist’s help, so talk to yours.
Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard
Think brushing your teeth harder cleans them better? Think again. Brushing too strenuously (or using a hard-bristled brush) can expose tooth roots by causing gum recession. It can also wear away your tooth’s enamel, exposing dentin (yellow). Holes in the dentin are really microscopic tubes (blue) that allow hot, cold, and sweet foods to stimulate tooth nerves. Ouch!