Have you ever taken a big sip of a nice, cold drink, only to be met with a sharp pain emanating from your teeth? This is a sure sign of tooth sensitivity and it can hurt a lot. Having sensitive teeth is not uncommon, with an estimated one out of every eight people suffering from it. Today, we’re going to take a look at six of the most common causes of sensitive teeth and how they can be treated. If you’re tired of sharp pain when you eat or drink something, it’s time to see a dentist. Call Brandywine Smile Center in Glen Mills today to schedule an appointment so you can bid adieu to sensitive teeth.

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Acidic Diet

You might not realize that what you eat has a bigger impact on your teeth than just sugary foods. In fact, the amount of acidic foods you consume can greatly erode away your enamel, resulting in teeth that are more prone to sensitivity, along with other dental problems. If your diet contains many acidic items — such as fruit juice, tomato sauce, soda, and vinegar — it’s worth reducing your intake. For items like juice and soda, you can reduce the amount of contact they have with your teeth by using a straw. If you can’t cut these items out of your diet, at the very least be sure you wash your mouth out with some water after eating or drinking them to remove them from the surface of your teeth.

Over-Brushing

While many dental issues come about from a lack of brushing, just as many arise from over-brushing. Whether it is brushing too hard, too often, or too long, you could be greatly damaging your teeth. This is because over-brushing can erode away your enamel and cause your gums to recede, leaving you at risk for many different oral diseases.

If you feel like this might be the cause of your sensitivity issues, there are some different options out there for you. Whether you practice more moderate brushing habits going forward or you get an electric toothbrush that notifies you if you’re brushing too long or hard, adjustments can be made to stop harming your teeth. Some of those electric models can even record your brushing habits, which can be shared with your dentist to see how you can better care for your teeth.

Gum Disease

Diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis are inflammatory conditions which damage the structural integrity of your teeth. Most often, this is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria wearing away at the gums. Because the structure of your teeth is housed beneath your gums, a great deal of pain can come from gum disease, including sensitivity. Your dentist will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan to handle your gum disease. If your gums have receded severely, you may need a soft tissue graft to repair the damage. Other treatment options include scaling and root planing.

Bruxism

Also referred to as tooth grinding, bruxism can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, you can wear down your enamel and expose the extremely sensitive dentin within your teeth. Depending on the severity of your bruxism, you might even cause your teeth to crack. Many different treatment options exist for patients with bruxism, including orthodontics, restorative treatments like dental crowns, and custom-molded mouth guards.

Damaged Tooth

Whether it was caused by grinding your teeth or some sort of oral trauma (such as an injury), a chipped or cracked tooth can be incredibly painful. Most often this is seen in athletes in high contact sports like football, hockey, or boxing. When a tooth is damaged like this, it leaves the nerves within your tooth unprotected and extremely sensitive. If the damage is minor, your dentist may only have to smooth and polish your tooth out without a need for further restoration. In more moderate cases, a filling or crown can restore the tooth to full function. However, if the chip or crack is severe enough to cause nerve damage, you may need a root canal. It’s vital for athletes to protect their teeth with a mouth guard when playing a high contact sport.

Tooth Decay

If plaque and bacteria have taken hold of your teeth, your protective layer of enamel will wear away and tooth decay will set in. Not only will tooth decay eat away at your teeth, it will also damage your gums. When a buildup of plaque combines with bacteria, it creates an incredibly dangerous and damaging acidic environment for your teeth. In most cases, mild or moderate levels of decay can be treated with a dental filling. If decay has progressed far enough to damage or infect the nerve within the tooth, an invasive root canal may be your only treatment option. If you follow the ADA-recommended two visits with a dentist a year, you should be able to fend off potential decay issues before a root canal would be necessary.

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Few things can bring a fun day to a halt faster than sensitive teeth. Not only does it mean you can’t enjoy your ice cream or a frosty beverage, even brushing your teeth can become an exercise in pain. Instead of looking online for a “dentist near me”, choose the dentist you can trust. Call Brandywine Smile Center today to schedule your appointment and get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.