Do you experience flashes of pain to your teeth when you’re enjoying your favourite ice-cream recipe or hot beverages?
Do you have to take a delicate approach to brushing and flossing? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you may suffer from sensitive teeth.
Sensitivity can be every now and again or frequent, and the level of discomfort experienced can vary. The triggers can range from hot and cold, to sweet and sour foods or drinks. Some people describe the sensitivity as their teeth being “on edge”.
Here are five common causes of sensitive teeth:
- Brushing your teeth too hard – just because you brush hard, doesn’t mean you’re brushing thoroughly. This repetitive habit may wear away the protective enamel layer and make them sensitive. Remember that when you’re brushing your teeth, to brush gently and with a ‘soft’ toothbrush.
- You may have gum disease – this common oral disease can cause your gums to recede, exposing the root surfaces, which can then trigger sensitivity.
- Eating and drinking acidic food – consuming acidic foods and drinks can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel.
- Damaged or decayed teeth – did you know that 30% of Australian adults have untreated tooth decay?* Having chipped, broken or decayed teeth can cause the nerve in the tooth to become irritated and sensitive
Regular grinding or clenching – most people are guilty of doing this subconsciously in their sleep or while they’re stressed, but grinding or clenching your teeth can wear away your tooth enamel
But what can you do to avoid sensitive teeth?
There are simple things you can do on a daily basis to help minimise the discomfort of sensitive teeth.
- Brush and floss regularly and make sure you’re brushing your teeth correctly. Most people are unaware that they’re brushing the wrong way. Jump onto the Australian Dental Association website to find out if you’re doing it right.
- Ditch the ‘medium’ and ‘hard’ toothbrushes and opt for ‘soft’ bristles.
- Consider using toothpaste for sensitive teeth as part of your daily routine.
- After eating or drinking something acidic, it’s best to rinse your mouth with water and chew sugar-free gum afterwards. Wait at least 60 minutes before brushing.
- Maintaining regular check-ups with your dentist will keep the ‘ouch’ factor at bay. It’s important to visit the dentist every six months for a regular check up.