Gum disease, or gingivitis, exposes the sensitive roots of your teeth, as well as causing inflamed and tender gums. Daily flossing is the first line of defense against gum disease.
Approximately one out of 20 adults grind their teeth at some point in their lives, according to the American Dental Association. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can wear down hard enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to sensitivity.
Tooth Whitening Products
The majority of tooth whitening kits for at-home use contain hydrogen peroxide, which is a known cause of tooth sensitivity for many people. If you experience discomfort when whitening, use kits that have a lower amount of peroxide and require a shorter time on your teeth per treatment.
Some mouthwash products have a high level of acidity which can cause irritation. Your dentist can recommend a neutral mouthwash that won’t cause sensitivity.
Food and drinks with a high level of acidity can actually wear away enamel. Beware of having your teeth in prolonged contact with food and drinks like tomatoes, coffee and orange juice. Recent studies have pointed to sports drinks as a serious cause of tooth enamel erosion.
The reason dentists recommend daily flossing and twice daily brushing is to get rid of the plaque that forms after eating. Too much plaque can cause enamel to wear away, leading to tooth sensitivity.
Studies show that people report tooth sensitivity the most between ages 25 and 30.
Time In the Dentist’s Chair
Having work done on your teeth can make them temporarily sensitive. After most any dental procedure from teeth cleaning to crown placement, you may experience some tooth sensitivity.
Keeping up with basic dental hygiene, which includes visiting a dentist every six months, can do a lot to help prevent tooth sensitivity. If you have an ongoing issue with sensitive teeth, ask your dentist for help, as there are several things that can be done to keep your teeth pain free.
American Dental Association: “Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Treatment.”
Mayo Clinic: “Oral health: Brush up on dental care basics.”