If you have ever been in a situation where eating something cold or drinking a hot beverage has triggered sensitive teeth in your mouth, it may be time to get to the root cause of the problem. Many people suffer from sensitive teeth and it can start at any time in your life. That said, it is more common to find people between the ages of 20 and 40 suffering more. So what causes sensitive teeth and how do we care for them? Let’s take a look.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
The part of the tooth we can see in our mouths has a layer of enamel that helps to protect the softer dentine underneath. If this dentine is exposed, a tooth can become sensitive and cause discomfort. There are various ways in which a tooth can become sensitive:
- Brushing your teeth too hard and brushing your teeth the wrong way (side to side) can cause enamel to be worn away – especially where the teeth meet the gums. This freshly exposed dentine can then become sensitive.
- Tooth Decay
- Receding Gums
- Gum Disease
- Other causes may include tooth grinding (particularly during sleep), a cracked tooth or tooth bleaching.
If you ever begin to suffer from sensitive teeth, we recommend seeking professional advice from your dentist before self-diagnosing.
Does My Diet Cause An Issue?
As with many things, diet does, in fact, cause issues to people suffering from sensitive teeth. You may find that hot, cold, sweet or acidic drinks, or foods like ice cream, can cause sensitivity so you may want to avoid these things.
If you have sensitivity when brushing your teeth with cold water from the tap, you may need to use warm water instead. It is important to keep brushing your teeth regularly – if you don’t, this could make the problem worse.
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How Do I Prevent Sensitive Teeth?
Once you have visited your dentist to find out the problem, we’d recommend you follow a number of paths to prevent your teeth being sensitive:
- Be sure to brush your teeth every morning and the last thing at night with a toothpaste such as Cornerstone’s new Gentle Daily Whitening Toothpaste. This low abrasion and peroxide free formula helps reduce the risk of enamel damage and your teeth becoming sensitive.
- Use small, circular movements with a soft-to medium-bristled brush and avoid brushing your teeth from side to side but massage at a 45degree angle close to the gum line.
- Be sure to change your toothbrush heads every two to three months, or sooner if it becomes worn.
- Don’t brush straight after eating some foods and drinks can soften the enamel of your teeth, so leave it for at least an hour before you brush.
- Have sugary foods, and fizzy and acidic drinks, less often.
- As always, we recommend visiting your dentist on a regular basis. If you have an issue with sensitive teeth, then it is best to seek professional guidance so that you know how to deal with the issue in the correct manner.