Tooth Sensitivity, What It Is and How to Prevent It

Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by a sharp pain or discomfort in the teeth, particularly in response to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages. Tooth sensitivity can range from mild to severe and can make it difficult to enjoy your favorite foods and drinks. In this article, we’ll explore what causes tooth sensitivity and how to prevent it.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective enamel on your teeth is worn down or when the gum line recedes, exposing the sensitive nerves underneath. There are several factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity, including:

  1. Brushing Too Hard: Brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear down your enamel and expose the sensitive nerves underneath.
  2. Gum Disease: Gum disease can cause your gums to recede, exposing the sensitive roots of your teeth.
  3. Tooth Decay: Cavities can cause tooth sensitivity by exposing the nerves inside the tooth.
  4. Acidic Foods and Beverages: Consuming too many acidic foods and drinks can erode your enamel and expose the sensitive nerves underneath.
  5. Teeth Grinding: Grinding your teeth can wear down your enamel and expose the sensitive nerves underneath.

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent tooth sensitivity. Here are a few tips:

  1. Brush and Floss Regularly: Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.
  2. Use a Desensitizing Toothpaste: Desensitizing toothpaste can help block the transmission of pain signals from your teeth to your nerves.
  3. Limit Acidic Foods and Drinks: Try to limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as soda, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.
  4. Wear a Mouthguard: If you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
  5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Regular dental checkups can help detect tooth sensitivity early and prevent it from getting worse. Your dentist can also recommend treatments to help alleviate your symptoms.

In conclusion, tooth sensitivity can be a painful and frustrating problem, but it is also preventable. By following the tips above, you can help protect your teeth and gums and avoid tooth sensitivity. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, talk to your dentist to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.