We have all, at one time or another, felt some degree of tooth sensitivity when eating cold or hot food and drinks. However, in some cases, sensitive teeth can become a chronic issue and mostly affects those aged between 20-40. Below, we explore the things you need to know about tooth sensitivity and how you can prevent it.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel (protective coating on your teeth) wears away, exposing the softer dentine. When food and drink comes into contact with this exposed dentine, tooth sensitivity can amplify. Over-brushing and brushing too hard can also wear down your tooth enamel and erode your gums, so it’s important to know how to brush your teeth correctly and what type of toothbrush to use for your unique tooth structure. Gum erosion exposes more of a tooth, but the surfaces that become exposed do not have a protective enamel coating, leaving your susceptible to sensitivity overtime.
Changing your dental habits to avoid tooth sensitivity
Knowledge is power, so educating yourself on how best to look after your teeth is the first thing to address. This means visiting the dentist and hygienist regularly, so any serious issues can be addressed and you can learn the appropriate way to brush. Pregnant women and women in general, are more likely to suffer from tooth sensitivity due to the level of hormones in the body, warranting more regular hygienist appointments to ensure serious complications don’t arise.
Cutting extremely hot and cold food and drink can help with reducing tooth sensitivity. Carbonated and sugary drinks as well as wine cause your tooth enamel to wear, which in turn, causes sensitivity by exposing the softer dentine, so cutting these from your diet will also make a big difference.
The technique you use to brush your teeth could also be the reason you’re experiencing sensitive teeth. You should brush your teeth up and down as opposed to side to side, to make sure you’re not coming into contact with your gums. Another common issue is brushing immediately after eating, which can actually have an adverse effect on your teeth. It’s recommended that you wait 30 minutes after eating, as some foods (those that are acidic, in particular), can soften tooth enamel temporarily, which means brushing too soon can damage the enamel whilst the teeth are in a weakened state.
If you would like to book your routine hygienist or dentist appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us.