Too Hot, Too Cold, Too Painful! Your Q’s Answered About Sensitive Teeth

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Too Hot, Too Cold, Too Painful! Your Q’s Answered About Sensitive Teeth

tooth sensitivityYou may have been there before: you take a spoonful of a milkshake or take a bite out of a popsicle, and a sharp pain immediately goes through your teeth! Odds are the same thing happens with hot coffee and hard foods as well. Even brushing can be painful! Yet it’s not as if your teeth will immediately be damaged by these foods and drinks. So why does it feel like your teeth are getting ready to just fall out and find a new home?

We’ve put together a few answers to questions regarding your sensitive teeth designed to help you better take care of your mouth and eat the foods you love again!

Why are my teeth sensitive?

There is actually a fairly straightforward answer. It’s the cause that can get a little dicey. Teeth become sensitive due to an exposure of the lower layers of your tooth. Over time, the enamel wears down and exposes the next layer, called dentin. Dentin is constructed of tiny “tubules” filled with fluids that, when exposed to intense foods, change their direction of flow, causing the nerves to react harshly. Heat, cold, and acids, just to name a few, can trigger this disruption in the dentin.

What causes the breakdown of enamel?

Enamel can break down for a number of reasons. Eating acidic and sugary foods heavily contributes to the breakdown of the enamel surface. These naturally eat away at the enamel, exposing dentin. Using tooth-whitening toothpaste and mouthwash in excess can also break down enamel. Designed to dissolve stains, these inevitably dissolve the enamel of people with softer teeth. Yet the most shocking cause of breakdown? Brushing your teeth. If you brush too often or too vigorously, you could actually be hurting your teeth instead of helping. Your brush will be slowly grinding down your enamel rather than removing plaque. And speaking of grinding down, don’t grind your teeth either! That’s a sure way to get sensitive teeth!

What do I do about the sensitivity?

First and foremost, if your teeth are causing you discomfort then think about seeing your dentist! She or he will have a better idea as to what course of action you should take and will better diagnose your problem and its cause. Your dentist may even recommend a fluoride treatment to help strengthen the enamel. At home, begin using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. They’re meant to handle this type of problem!

What can I eat?

If you’re feeling bold, you can keep eating anything. Just understand it will continue to cause pain and damage your enamel. Instead, you should check out the regular foods to your diet. Fruits are naturally high in acids, so check out what you’ve been eating to see if you’ve been eating the healthiest options for your mouth! Mix up the fruits you’re eating and make sure that you’re eating a proper serving. If you’re also over-brushing, rinse your mouth out with water after you eat to get some of the latent acids and food pieces off of your teeth.

This isn’t working!!!

There’s certainly that chance. If you’re still not feeling relief, you need to head to your dentist. You could have a more serious problem developing such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. Odds are your gums are receding, leaving the dentin normally protected by your gums exposed for irritation. If you had a filling procedure when you were younger, the area around the filling also could have corroded enough to cause irritation. Your filling may have to be redone, but don’t worry! This is a fairly easy and routine procedure.

Sensitive teeth can be a painful condition and is certainly one you’ll want to get fixed as soon as possible. Make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and eating right, and hopefully your problem will resolve itself or never even surface in the first place. Even with proper care, however, these things can happen! To keep your teeth in top shape, reach out to us at and see why we’re different! After one visit, you’ll agree. Different really is better!