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3 Common Habits That Cause Tooth Sensitivity

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While temporary in most instances, tooth sensitivity is still a serious problem. The sharp, tingling pain makes it harder to do the most basic of human activities: eating. Apparently, it is not just tooth decay that makes your teeth hypersensitive, notes Scott W. Grant, DMD. There are a whole lot of other culprits behind it. If you are struggling with sensitive teeth, chances are you have had it from the following habits.

 Eating Acidic Food

If you love munching on grapes, lemons, and oranges, or drinking sports drinks, you are more likely to develop sensitive teeth. These high-acidic food and beverages cause damage to the enamel, which is the outer, protective layer of the tooth. When that layer wears away, the nerve center of the tooth becomes exposed, which can then irritate the nerves. This is the reason behind that sharp pain in tooth sensitivity.

Of course, it is impossible to avoid these foods and drinks altogether. What you should do then is to take them with other foods that have a higher PH level, like fish and lean meat. Drink plenty of water as well during meals so that you can cleanse the acids.

Chewing Ice

Ice being dropped to drink

Sometimes, this is out of a mindless habit or a mannerism learned from a friend or a parent. Other times, it is because of a condition, like pica or iron deficiency anemia. Whatever the reason is, ice is a hard material for the teeth to chew on, and so there is a high risk of dental injuries, like cracking or chipping of a tooth. A cracked or chipped tooth makes you more sensitive to hot or cold food.

Often, cases like this require a root canal. In this treatment, the dentist makes a hole in the tooth to locate the source of pain, and then removes the pulp, along with the bacteria. If you are not suffering yet, quit the habit of chewing ice.

Brushing teeth aggressively

People often do this with the noblest of intentions: They want to make sure they have clean teeth. Others, on the other hand, are not aware that they are doing it — it is simply the way they brush teeth all the time. Whether aggressive tooth brushing is consciously or unconsciously done, remember that your teeth are not like floors that you have to scrub it to make it clean. Gentle strokes of the toothbrush are enough to remove food debris.

Overbrushing only causes abrasion, damaging the enamel, which counters your efforts to better dental health. So, go easy on your teeth, and make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you are concerned about not having clean enough teeth, go to your dentist for cleanings. The procedure would also help identify tooth sensitivity early on before it gets worse.

Many of the culprits behind tooth sensitivity can be preventable. If you can only avoid these habits, you will not have to suffer that sharp, tingling pain. If you do though, and if you are already experiencing tooth decay symptoms, go to your dentist immediately.

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