Things That Cause Tooth Sensitivity and How to Fix It
If you cringe each time you eat ice-cream or drink hot coffee, it is probably because your teeth are very sensitive. Sensitivity with teeth is a common condition and is usually the result of worn-off enamel, but it is something you can fix. If you are tired of living like this, here are several things you should know about sensitivity with teeth.
Why Worn-Off Enamel Causes Sensitivity
Teeth have multiple layers and the outer-most layer is made of enamel. Enamel is extremely hard and durable, and it is there to protect your teeth. Unfortunately, it can wear away; when it does, teeth become sensitive.
Without enough enamel, inner layers of the teeth are exposed. These layers contain tubules, which are small openings with nerves inside. The exposure of these nerves is the root cause of sensitive teeth.
Things That Cause Enamel to Wear Off
When enamel wears away, dentists call it enamel erosion. A small amount of enamel erosion is quite normal as people age, but there are a lot of habits people have that cause enamel erosion. Here are some of the top causes of enamel erosion:
• Grinding teeth – People who grind their teeth while sleeping typically do not even realize they are doing this. Unfortunately, this habit wears away at teeth, and the enamel is the first layer that wears away.
• Drinking acidic beverages – Water is the best beverage to drink, as it does not damage teeth at all. Acidic beverages, on the other hand, are bad for teeth. These beverages cause erosion of enamel, and highly acidic beverages include fruit juices, sport's drinks, soda, and wine.
• Suffering from acid reflux – If you have any type of acid reflux disorder, the acids that work their way up your throat damage teeth. These acids quickly eat away the enamel on teeth.
• Chewing on the wrong things – People who bite their fingernails or open things with their teeth may have a higher risk of developing enamel erosion. These bad habits affect the teeth just like grinding.
Enamel erosion is not good for your teeth in any way. Your teeth need the enamel they have, and enamel never replenishes itself. There are ways to decrease sensitivity with teeth, though.
Steps You Can Take To Fix the Problem
If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist will probably tell you that it is the result of enamel erosion. Fortunately, you can correct this problem by taking the right steps. The first step is using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled brushes damage enamel, and a soft-bristled brush cleans teeth perfectly well.
Secondly, start using sensitive-teeth toothpaste. There are several great brands available, but ask your dentist which is the best. These toothpastes help close up the tubules in your teeth, and this stops the sensitivity.
You could also wear a mouth guard while you sleep if you grind your teeth. A mouth guard stops the damage grinding does to teeth, because it keeps a gap between the upper and lower jaws.
You should also avoid whitening your teeth. Whitening products typically increase sensitivity with teeth. If you want whiter teeth, wait until you solve the sensitivity problem with your teeth and then pursue whitening options.
Dentists also offer services that help decrease sensitivity, and you can ask your dentist what options he offers for this purpose.
You do not have to live with sensitive teeth any longer. If you would like to learn how to fix this problem, you should call the dental office of Michael J. Wallace, DDS LLC to schedule a visit. We offer evening appointments for your convenience and are accepting new patients.