If you’ve noticed your teeth are starting to feel more sensitive than usual, you might also start avoiding foods and drinks that seem to cause discomfort. For example, a hot cup of coffee or some icea cream might cause you to feel some dental pain.
While it’s a normal reaction to avoid foods or drinks that lead to pain or discomfort, it’s better to determine the cause of the problem and take steps to improve the health and quality of your teeth.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
A cavity or cracked tooth
If only a single tooth is sensitive, it could be caused by a cavity. In other cases, the tooth might be cracked. These situations require care from a trained dental professional. You may need to get a filling, a new crown, or a root canal to reduce the tooth sensitivity.
Acidic foods and drinks
If many or all of your teeth are sensitive, you may have recently begun consuming larger amounts of foods or drinks that are high in acid. The acid dissolves the protective enamel of your teeth, exposing the dentin. The tooth’s dentin is sensitive to heat and cold as well as sticky or acidic foods that can trigger pain.
While bleaching your teeth with custom fit trays should help reduce sensitivity, you may still feel a few quick pains. This is normal and should stop as soon as your whitening treatment is complete.
Increased stress in your life also can indirectly lead to tooth sensitivity. High stress can cause you to grind your teeth while you sleep. If you suffer from teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, one treatment option may be a special night guard appliance to wear while you sleep.
Believe it or not, weather and air changes are another factor to consider. If it starts getting cold suddenly, the cool air you breathe in may trigger teeth pain, especially when enamel has been eroded from your teeth.
Reducing Tooth Sensitivity
Reduce consumption of acidic foods/drinks
Avoid consuming foods and drinks that are high in acid. For example, citrus fruits and their juices can wear down your teeth enamel over time. Decrease your consumption to minimize teeth erosion.
Try using a straw when drinking acidic juices in order to minimize their contact with your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and drinks.
Use an Ultra Soft Toothbrush
Start brushing your teeth with the softest available toothbrush. Use gentle motions to brush your teeth to minimize abrading their surfaces.
Use a new toothpaste
You may be interested in switching to a new toothpaste to help you with the discomfort.
Select a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. You can find a variety of brands at our Dental Store for patients. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, particularly paying attention to how long you can use the product.
If your teeth are still sensitive after using the special toothpaste, you should contact our office so we can rule out a more serious underlying problem.