Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Solutions

Have you noticed that your teeth seem overly sensitive when they come into contact with sugary foods, or that your teeth sometimes exhibit pangs of pain? This could very well mean that your teeth are more sensitive than they should be. The good news is this: there are small lifestyle changes you can make, as well as treatment options you can try, to strengthen your teeth and make them less prone to pain. Here is what you need to know about the causes of sensitive teeth and how to care for them.

The Causes

Hard Bristles

Toothbrushes with bristles that are too hard can actually wear down at the protective layers of your teeth, as can brushing too hard with your toothbrush. Try switching your toothbrush out for one with softer bristles and using a lighter hand when you brush.

Acidic Foods

Acidic foods such as citrus and tomatoes work to break down your tooth enamel upon contact with your teeth, and if that layer of enamel is broken down enough, it could leave the tender inner layer called dentin exposed. To reduce the harmful effects of acidic foods, enjoy them as part of a meal, with plenty of water, or with a glass of milk or some cheese.

Tooth Whiteners

Your dentist is the best person to talk to when it comes to getting whiter teeth. Many at-home treatments and whitening dental products contain ingredients (and heavy doses of them) that will make your teeth more sensitive. So instead of whitening your teeth at home, talk to your dentist about what he or she recommends.

Grinding Teeth

Tooth grinding is another thing that can break down tooth enamel over time. Often, the treatment for grinding teeth is a special mouth guard worn at night to discourage teeth grinding. Talk to your dentist if you grind your teeth at night.

Damaged Teeth

Tooth cracks, chips, breaks, and cavities are all causes of tooth sensitivity. If you think that one of these dental maladies might apply to you, be sure to visit your dentist immediately.

Other Treatment Options

In addition to the treatment options listed with each cause of tooth sensitivity, here are a couple of other things to try for stronger teeth.

Calcium and Vitamin D Rich Foods

Eating calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese, eggs, yogurt, leafy greens, and almonds are always a great idea for strengthening tooth enamel. Just be sure to pair these foods with vitamin D (easiest to obtain with a multivitamin), which will help your body to absorb the calcium.

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Consider trying are special toothpaste formulated to help repair and protect your teeth if they are experiencing an added measure of sensitivity.

Visit Your Dentist

It’s been mentioned here before, but it’s worth repeating: it’s always a good idea to visit your dentist if you’ve been experiencing tooth sensitivity; your teeth may very well need a professional’s attention, and your dentist can discuss the best treatment options for you and your sensitive teeth.

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