Today’s society has become very health conscious, however, one area of our anatomy that often gets overlooked is our teeth. Oral health is just as important as maintaining a healthy weight and balanced diet, as poor oral health can lead to many complications later in life. One ailment that can be a sign of poor oral hygiene is sensitive teeth.
When tucking into your favourite bowl of ice cream or whilst drinking a hot beverage, have you ever been greeted with sudden pain or discomfort? If the answer is “yes”, then there is no need to panic, as you are not alone. There are several reasons why people feel discomfort whilst eating cold foods, one of which is a cavity in the tooth and the other is sensitive teeth.
The signs of sensitive teeth are exactly how it sounds. Sudden onset of pain and discomfort felt by a person as a response to certain stimulants and temperatures.
Sensitive teeth can happen from time to time and many of us will experience it at least once in our lifetime, however, for some people tooth sensitivity is a chronic and ongoing issue. There are several reasons why a person may be experiencing sensitive teeth, but the easiest way of combating the problem is to change your oral hygiene routine.
Symptoms of Sensitive Teeth
Many people will say when you experience sensitivity in your teeth, you will know it, as the pain and discomfort often occur after eating or drinking both really cold or very hot foods and drinks. If you want to avoid tooth sensitivity it is recommended that you steer away from some of these triggers:
- Hot or extremely cold foods and beverages
- cold air
- brushing or flossing teeth
- alcohol-based mouth rinses
- sweet foods and beverages
- acidic foods and beverages
- cold water, especially during routine dental cleanings
Symptoms of sensitive teeth can be mild or extremely uncomfortable.
The Foods You Eat Could Be Contributing To Your Sensitive Teeth.
Whilst many people are conscious of the foods they eat for other health reasons, we often overlook the effect in which, what we eat and drink affects our oral health.
One of the main reasons for developing sensitive teeth is down to the foods you eat. In fact, during a survey carried out on 700 dentists, a third of those surveyed stated that acidic food and drinks were the most common causes of sensitive teeth. Another less common, yet equally impacting reason is how we brush our teeth. Yes, your brushing technique could be to blame for your tooth sensitivity.
Acidic Foods that Can Cause Tooth Sensitivity
Food and drink that are highly acidic such as tomatoes, sweet fruit juices, fruit, sports drinks and certain yoghurts are the main cause of sensitive teeth. The reason behind this is due to the acid stripping away the tooth’s natural enamel and exposing the inner layers of your teeth, in turn weakens your gum line. Ensuring that you balance both alkaline and acidic foods equally, will reduce the chances of your teeth becoming damaged and sensitive, and maintain better all-round oral health. There are specially formulated toothpaste which incorporates an ingredient called stannous fluoride which is designed to help combat sensitive teeth and protect the tooth’s natural enamel. For more information on this please be sure to ask a member of staff, who would be happy to assist you to find the correct toothpaste for your needs.
It is important to remember that tooth sensitivity is a common problem yet it can become rather painful if left untreated due to nerve irritation. The sooner you start to realize what triggers tooth sensitivity and maintain better oral hygiene, the sooner the symptoms will ease off.
So What Is It That Triggers Tooth Sensitivity?
As previously stated, high acidic foods are the primary cause of sensitive teeth, but how can you tell how acidic food or drinks are? Well, we have put together a list of food and drinks along with their acidity level, to help you keep track of what you are eating.
- Most fermented foods and aged cheeses
- Yoghurt/Sour Cream
- Pickled Products
- Sodas (e.g. cola beverages)
- Sport Drinks
- Orange Juice
Moderately Acidic Foods
- Most Grains
- Plums, prunes and cranberries
We understand that many of the high acidic and moderately acidic foods we have pointed out are food favourites for many of you, and you are probably looking at it horror at the list and wondering what on earth you are going to eat now to combat your sensitive teeth? As with anything, a little bit in moderation is good for you, along with adding in a good source of alkaline foods to help reduce the acidic effect on your teeth. If you are still struggling to manage your eating habits in order to reduce your teeth sensitivity then there are many fantastic products from sensitive toothpaste to treatments that your local emergency dentist would be happy to discuss with you.
It is always better and easier to prevent rather than cure sensitive teeth, so if you have any worries or concerns you should book an appointment with your local dentist. If you are just looking for some general advice clinic staff on hand are always eager to help set you on the path to better oral health.