A stabbing pain. Nails on a chalkboard. An unpleasant discomfort. We’ve all been there at some point with that zap-like, lightning bolt-type feeling that can be mild, medium, or severe, especially when you eat or drink something that is cold, hot, or sour due to teeth sensitivity. But what causes this tooth discomfort? In this post, we will answer the question “why are my teeth sensitive” and share some of the common explanations to help get to the root cause.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Many patients ask us “why are my teeth sensitive?” Getting to the root cause of sensitive teeth can be tricky as there can be many culprits to blame for your discomfort. Protecting the enamel of your teeth is key and when that is damaged, increased sensitivity is no surprise.
Here are a few of the causes of sensitive tooth discomfort.
1. Overdoing it on the Mouthwash
It’s true, there can be too much of a good thing, and mouthwash is one of them. The acid usually found in them can make already sensitive teeth worse. Cut back on your use and investigate mouthwash that is a neutral fluoride rinse.
2. Too much acid and sugar
The enamel on our teeth is a protective layer – think of it like the epidermis for your teeth. Acidic and sugary foods eat away at your enamel, causing dentin to be exposed, and thus foods that are acidic, like tomatoes, citrus, and even sodas can cause that jarring and painful feeling. Use a straw when possible and limit your consumption of these types of foods.
3. Using Teeth Whiteners
Believe it or not, solving one issue of brightening not-so-white teeth, can often cause another with tooth sensitivity. At-home-whitening kits and even some kinds of toothpaste contain peroxide-based bleaching solutions, which while they help whiten your teeth, can lead to sensitivity. Once you stop using the products, the tooth sensitivity should stop as well. Talk to your dentist about other whitening solutions, like Zoom teeth whitening, that could mitigate extra-sensitive teeth.
4. Getting Too Aggressive with the Toothbrush
Please don’t let this reason affect how often you brush your teeth. Just be mindful of opting for a toothbrush with soft bristles. And while still brushing your pearly whites thoroughly, just don’t get too rough. Aggressive brushing over time can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, wear away enamel and then expose dentin, which equals more sensitive teeth.
5. Tooth Decay AKA a Cavity
Tooth sensitivity that just won’t go away? It could be a sign of tooth decay which is essentially a cavity or at least the start of one. When the root of your tooth becomes exposed, it becomes irritated and quite sensitive. As a result, when you consume drinks and food that are in extreme temperatures or are sour, you’ll get that stabbing discomfort.
What toothpaste is best for sensitive teeth?
For dental patients with mild sensitivity, here at South Gables Dental, we recommend Sensodyne toothpaste which is over the counter at most drug stores. For more sensitive teeth that do not need restorations, we often prescribe a sensitive toothpaste called Prevident 5000, which has a high content of fluoride.
Sensitive teeth affecting your daily life?
We hope we helped you answer the question “why are my teeth sensitive?” If your sensitive teeth are affecting your daily life, then, it may be time to make an appointment at South Gables Dental, a top Miami dental practice for patients with sensitive teeth. Call us today.