If hot or cold foods or beverages make you wince in pain, it’s not just annoying – it may mean you have a problem with your teeth, one that you should visit your dentist for right away. Here are some reasons your teeth might be sensitive and what you can do about it.
Triggers of sensitivity
It’s not just cold or hot foods that may cause pain. People often have teeth that are sensitive to sweets, mouthwash that has alcohol in it, foods and beverages that are acidic, and even air that is too cold! This sensitivity may come and go or it may be something you are dealing with all of the time, and it may feel like all of your teeth are sensitive, or it may be just one.
What causes sensitive teeth?
Some people are simply born with thin enamel – the outer layer on teeth that protects them – and this makes their teeth especially sensitive. However, there are other reasons for sensitivity:
- Using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard or brushing your teeth too aggressively
- Grinding teeth
- Eating or drinking too many acidic foods and beverages
- Receding gums, which leaves parts of your teeth exposed and vulnerable
Sensitivity may also be caused by conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). GERD causes acid to come up from the stomach and esophagus, which can damage teeth. Worn down fillings, tooth decay, and broken teeth can also make teeth sensitive.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
If you notice your teeth are suddenly (and painfully) sensitive, you should make an appointment with your dentist right away, in case you have tooth decay or a problem with your gums. If your teeth are always sensitive, he or she will be able to give you some tips for treating your sensitive teeth, such as using a specific toothpaste or using a softer toothbrush and brushing more gently. There may also be a prescription toothpaste or mouthwash that will help.
If your teeth are so sensitive that you can’t enjoy eating or drinking, it may be time to make an appointment with Dr. Samuel Jirik. Call the Cabot, Arkansas, office at (501) 476-7955 to make an appointment today!