If you shriek in pain every time you eat ice cream or brush your teeth too hard, it is very possible that you have sensitive teeth. But you are not alone. Approximately 40 million adults in the United States deal with sensitive teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. However, you do not have to put up with the discomfort forever. If you determine why your teeth are sensitive and make the appropriate changes, you can feel fix the problem. Here are seven reasons why your teeth might be sensitive:
You Consume Acidic Foods
If your diet consists of a lot of acidic foods, you are more likely to experience tooth sensitivity. Highly acidic foods include tomatoes, pickled products, yogurt and wine. To alleviate sensitivity, it's best to avoid these foods as much as possible. However, if you can't completely give up acidic foods, you can use a desensitizing toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush.
You Use Mouthwash Too Often
While mouthwash can get rid of mouth bacteria, using it too often can result in sensitive teeth. The alcohol in over-the-counter mouthwashes can irritate your teeth. It is better to use neutral fluoride rinses.
You've Recently Had a Dental Procedure
If you have recently had a filling, root canal or other dental procedure, your teeth are more likely to be sensitive. This is normal and usually doesn't last long. Just try to avoid hot and cold foods until the problem subsides. However, if the sensitivity does not go away, you should contact your dentist because you could have an infection.
You Brush Your Teeth With Too Much Force
Nothing good comes out of brushing your teeth too hard. If you brush your teeth with excessive force, you could wear down the out layers of your teeth and expose the dentin. When this happens, your teeth will become extremely sensitive to acidic, hot and cold foods. You can easily avoid this issue by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing your teeth as gently as possible.
You Whiten Your Teeth Too Often
Tooth whitening products may give you a bright smile, but you should be careful about how often you use them. Whether you whiten your teeth at home or at the dentist's office, doing it too often can have a negative effect on your teeth. Whitening products contain chemicals that can increase tooth sensitivity if they are used too often. Ask your dentist how often you should use tooth whitening products.
Your Fillings Are Old
Dental filling are not meant to last forever and need to be replaced eventually. If you don't, decay can accumulate on the edges of the fillings and break down your enamel, causing sensitivity. If your dental fillings are several years old, you should have them checked out by a dentist. If your dentist finds decay around a filling, he can easily replace it with a new one.
You Grind Your Teeth
You are also more like to suffer from tooth sensitivity if you grind your teeth. Clenching down on your teeth can weaken the enamel, making your pearly whites more sensitive. In addition to practicing relaxation techniques and avoiding alcohol before bed, consider asking your dentist for a custom mouth guard. This device can be worn at night and may stop you from grinding your teeth.
Once you determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity, it will be easier to treat. However, if you still experience tooth sensitivity, you should make an appointment to see a dentist, such as Dr. Daniel Bade DDS. It is possible that an oral health condition, such as gum disease, is the cause of your tooth sensitivity.