What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Sensitive Teeth Popsicle Do you ever cringe at the sound of someone chewing ice? Does the thought of biting down on cold ice cream might make you feel faint? This may be because you have extremely sensitive teeth. You might find it painful to chew or drink anything cold. Even hot foods can make you shiver.
Sensitive teeth can be caused by a variety of issues, including problems with your teeth and your gums. Here are six reasons why you might have sensitive teeth, and the solutions to help save your teeth.

Brushing Too Hard

Believe it or not, you can actually hurt your teeth if you brush too hard. Often, the brusher will use a toothbrush with bristles that are too tough for their teeth. This results in the brush wearing down the enamel that protects the teeth and causes the gums to recede, exposing the dental nerves. When the nerves are exposed to hot or cold foods, it can send pain throughout your mouth.
The solution is to replace your toothbrush with one that comes with softer bristles. You can easily find these at any pharmacy or drugstore. Using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth can help rebuild enamel and strengthen the gums.

Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding can quickly damage teeth, and unfortunately, most don’t know it when they’re doing it. Teeth grinding typically happens in a person’s sleep, and wears down the enamel of the teeth. A person will wake up with a sore mouth and a burning headache. They’ll find it hard to chew most foods, hot and cold, and the jaw will be extremely sore.
The first step to saving your teeth from grinding is realizing you’re doing it. Most people are informed by their partner, who can hear them grinding their teeth while they’re sleeping. The next step is to consult a dentist, who can help you with practices that will slow down or prevent the grinding, such as placing a warm towel on the jaw before bed or wearing a protective mouth guard.

Too Much Mouthwash

Another reason you may develop sensitive teeth is because you’re using too much mouthwash. Mouthwash that includes alcohol can be especially harmful, as it can begin to wear away at the gums and enamel. Of course, using mouthwash once or twice a day won’t do too much damage. Those who like to use it every hour on the dot may be harming their mouth, though.
If you’re obsessed with mouthwash and don’t want to quit the habit, consider using alcohol-free mouthwash. There are several varieties and they won’t damage your teeth the way mouthwash with alcohol does.

Too Much Plaque

Plaque is the build up on your teeth that develops when bacteria thrives. Plaque wears away enamel and causes cavities (among many other issues). Plaque develops from lack of oral hygiene.
Brushing and flossing are key to ridding yourself of plaque. You should also visit the dentist at least twice a year for a deep cleaning that will remove the hidden plaque that brushing and flossing can’t get to.

A Cracked Tooth

Often, by no fault of your own, you can crack a tooth. Either by biting down on something too hard or from a simple accident, like falling down or getting hit with a baseball. However a tooth gets cracked, it can cause a lot of pain in your mouth. If you’re unaware of the crack, it can feel very similar to having sensitive teeth.
The only way to solve this problem is by making an appointment with your dentist to have the tooth repaired. A cap on the tooth or an extraction are the most likely solutions.

Gum Disease

Receding gums from periodontal disease can cause a lot of mouth issues, including extra sensitive teeth. Gums recede when plaque and bacteria destroy the gum, causing it to expose pockets between the teeth that cause an exposed nerve.
The best way to prevent gum disease is by brushing two to three times a day, and flossing and using mouthwash once a day. Eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and regularly seeing a dentist will also help to prevent your gums from receding.
As always, the best solution for a great smile is practicing daily oral hygiene and visiting your dentist twice a year. If you have any more questions about sensitive teeth, do not hesitate to contact Water Tower Dental, Chicago’s #1 Dental Practice.