For most of us a slice of cake or a TimBit sounds like a deliciously sweet treat. For some people the thought of a sugar-filled snack makes them cringe. If you’re cringing right now, you may be wondering why your teeth react this way to sugar and if you can get some relief. In short, your sensitivity is due to damage to your enamel. Fortunately, there are steps you can take and products to help reduce this sensitivity so that you can enjoy your favorite treats again!
Most people associate tooth sensitivity with exposing your teeth to burning hot or chilling cold, sweets can also trigger tooth sensitivity. Regardless of the cause, sensitivity can result from the loss of enamel on your teeth. The most common causes of enamel loss include brushing too hard and enjoying too many acidic foods. Both activities damage your enamel and can expose the sensitive inner layer of your teeth. When your outer layer of enamel is damaged, sugary foods, hot and cold treats, or other irritants have a more direct route to the nerve center of your teeth.
Preventing Sugar Sensitivity
If you can’t imagine living without your favorite sweets there are steps you can take to prevent sensitivity. Your best course of action is to take proper care of your teeth with an oral health routine and the right tools.
The first step is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. A softer brush is not only better for your enamel, but it’s also gentler on already sensitive teeth. We always give our patients a soft-bristled brush in their patient “goody bag” at each cleaning appointment. Use a toothpaste designed to protect against sensitivity; the active ingredient you should look for is “stannous fluoride”. Finally, improve your brushing technique! Brushing too hard can cause serious damage to your enamel and gums, leading to tooth sensitivity. You can always ask your hygienist for proper oral hygiene instruction at your regularly scheduled cleaning appointment.
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