If you grimace every time you eat ice cream or feel discomfort when you brush your teeth, you could have sensitive teeth. The pain can be quite intense and reach the nerve endings of your teeth. The good news is that you do not have to live with this painful problem forever. The first step is finding out why your teeth are sensitive in the first place. Here are eight reasons your teeth may be sensitive:
You Grind Your Teeth
Do you find yourself clenching down on your teeth on a regular basis? If so, you could be doing considerable damage to your pearly whites. According to Best Health Magazine, grinding can wear down the enamel of your teeth, making them much more sensitive. This habit can also cause your teeth to chip or crack. Whether you grind your teeth during the daytime or just when you sleep, you can quit the habit. Talk to your dentist about giving you a mouth guard that fits perfectly in your mouth.
You Have Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems and can lead to tooth sensitivity. If your gums are very red and inflamed or you frequently find blood on your toothbrush, it may indicate gum disease. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss, heart disease and other health problems down the road. If your gum disease is not too advanced, your dentist can give you a deep cleaning to remove the bacteria and plaque underneath your gum line.
You Use Tooth-Whitening Toothpaste
Tooth-whitening toothpaste might make your pearly whites shine, but it can increase your risk of tooth sensitivity. All the added chemicals in this type of toothpaste can be harsh on your teeth. If you think a whitening toothpaste is the cause of your sensitivity, use a regular toothpaste so see if there's a difference in how your teeth feel.
You Brush Your Teeth With Too Much Force
Brushing your teeth very aggressively will not remove the plaque any faster. In fact, brushing with too much force can actually wear down the enamel of your teeth, causing sensitivity. To avoid this, make sure to brush your teeth in gentle, circular motions with a soft bristle toothbrush.
You Use Mouthwash Frequently
Mouthwash is effective at getting rid of bacteria and freshening your breath, but the harsh chemicals in it can be rough on your teeth. If you do not want to give up mouthwash completely, try using a neutral fluoride rinse.
You Eat a Lot of Acidic Foods
Acidic foods, like tomatoes, pickles and oranges, may be tasty, but they can do a number on your pearly whites. These foods can eventually erode the outer enamel, exposing the dentin. That is why you should limit the amount of acidic foods you eat. If you get a craving for one of these foods, at least drink some milk afterward to neutralize the acids in your mouth.
You Have Old Fillings
Unfortunately, dental fillings do not last forever and break down over time. When these fillings crack, bacteria can sneak in the small crevices, making your teeth more sensitive. If you think old fillings are the reason for your sensitive teeth, have your dentist replace them.
Your Teeth Are Cracked
Whether it's due to chewing on ice or tearing off clothing tags with your teeth, cracks can lead to sensitivity. If your teeth are cracked or chipped, you should have your dentist fix them as soon as possible.
As you can see, many different factors can lead to sensitive teeth. If you take proper care of your oral health, you can reduce the risk of sensitivity.