Teeth Sensitivity? Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Experiencing a sharp pain in your teeth that worsens with pressure or even hot and cold beverages? Find out how to treat your dentin hypersensitivity as well as a variety of prevention methods.

When you have sensitive teeth, certain activities, such as brushing, eating and drinking, can cause sharp, temporary pain in your teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots.

Why do teeth become sensitive?

Your teeth are protected by a hard outer layer known as enamel which protects the dentin within the crown part of each tooth. Dentin sensitivity tends to occur whenever your dentin loses its protective covering of enamel which exposes the nerve endings to hot, cold, acidic or sticky foods which causes the pain and sensitive feeling.

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Top 10 factors that cause sensitivity

There may be things you are doing in your everyday routine that are contributing to the feeling of tooth sensitivity:

  • Brushing too much/too vigorously.
  • Acidic foods such as tomatoes, orange juice, wine, soft drink, pickles, fermented foods and cheeses, tomato sauce, lemon, kiwi fruit and grapefruit.
  • Tooth grinding, many people do this in their sleep without knowing.
  • Peroxide based toothpaste
  • Too much chemical based mouthwash
  • Gum disease
  • Excessive plaque
  • Dental procedures
  • Cracked teeth
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5 tips to help improve/prevent sensitivity

Daily brushing – Brushing properly twice daily for two minutes with toothpaste that does not have high levels of abrasives, bleach or peroxide can help reduce the chances of tooth sensitivity.

Extra soft bristle toothbrush – Using a soft bristle toothbrush brush your teeth in a gentle up-and-down motion to avoid being too rough.

Flossing – Flossing once a day can help get rid of plaque on the gum line and between the teeth, and can help reduce instances of tooth sensitivity.

Follow a diet low in acid – A diet low in acidic foods and drinks also helps prevent tooth sensitivity.

Green Tea – Green tea is another product known for its health benefits. It has been used in cancer prevention and cardiovascular health studies for its antioxidant effect and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea can also help in oral health.

Making a few small changes in your daily routine, including oral care habits and what you eat and drink can improve the feeling of tooth sensitivity, it is also important to see your dentist for regular health check ups.

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