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Do cold foods hurt your teeth?

Dentakraft Oral Care Clinic

Dentakraft Oral Care Clinic

  Indiranagar 1st stage, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   6 min     

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Overview

We have all had the experience of eating something hot or cold and experiencing pain in our teeth. This condition is called Tooth sensitivity and occurs among 50% of the world population. The pain you experience is because your tooth and its root are exposed.

This occurs due to your enamel, the hard outer layer of the teeth that protects it from decay, thinning or, your gums receding. When this happens, the teeth and its roots lose all protection from the enamel, thus exposing the dental structure to hypersensitivity.

Cause and Symptoms of Tooth Sensitivity

Below are some of the causes of tooth sensitivity.

  • Consuming acidic foods or drinks: The strong acids in these foods could erode your enamels.

  • Gum recession: Gum recession is a condition where the gum tissue around your teeth would have either eroded or pulled back. This condition leaves your teeth roots exposed.

  • Style of brushing: Sometimes if you vigorously brush your teeth, or use a toothbrush with hard bristles will erode your enamel.

  • Diseases like gastro-oesophageal reflux: Such diseases involve releasing stomach acid back into your oesophagus, and up your mouth. When these acids interact with your teeth, it could cause erosion.

  • Grinding your teeth: Some people have the habit of grinding their teeth in their sleep. When two enamels rub each other while grinding, they will erode each other. 

  • A cracked tooth or filling: Sometime when the teeth experience minor trauma such as cracks, it could travel all the way to the roots causing you pain. 

If your teeth are subjected to any of the above conditions, then your enamels could erode, and you will develop teeth sensitivity. The main symptoms of tooth sensitivity are when you experience pain, sensitivity, or discomfort when your teeth are exposed to certain triggers, such as extreme cold or heat. This pain could occur in the roots of the affected teeth.

Some triggers include;

  • Hot food and drinks or beverages

  • Cold food and drinks or beverages

  • Sweet food and drinks or beverages

  • Acidic food and drinks or beverages

  • Cold air

  • Coldwater, during your usual dental cleanings

  • Brushing or flossing

  • Mouthwashes that are alcohol-based

Prevention and Treatment for Teeth Sensitivity 

Teeth sensitivity is very painful and uncomfortable. But like most diseases, it can be prevented and treated. Below we shall discuss certain ways you can prevent teeth sensitivity, and later discuss the most common treatments recommended by doctors to treat teeth sensitivity.

Prevention

To prevent tooth erosion, the main thing to look out for is your oral hygiene routine. You have to take better care of your teeth to have stronger enamels. Brushing twice a day properly and avoiding acidic food or drinks and helping prevent tooth erosion.

Below are some tips that will help you prevent tooth sensitivity.

  • Brushing style: When you brush your teeth, be gentle with the toothbrush. Don’t brush too hard, as you may end up getting rid of more than just plaque. Vigorously brushing from side to side at the gum line may also contribute to gum recession and enamel erosion. The ideal way to brush is by using a toothbrush with soft bristles and place it at a 45-degree angle to your gums. 

  • Foods you consume: Foods and drinks that are acidic are a big no-no. In addition to that, avoid consuming high-sugar food like soda, sticky candy, etc. Opt for fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese or yoghurt. These kinds of food help keep your mouth moist and fight away acid and bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for enamel erosion. You can add in green or black tea, or sugarless gum, to simulate saliva that will neutralise any acid in the mouth. 

  • Teeth Clenching: Some of us have the habit of grinding or clenching our teeth too tight. In doing so, the enamels end up wearing each other out. Address the reason behind your teeth clenching; usually its stress. You can also consult your oral doctor who may provide you with alternatives such as a splint or a mouthguard. In severe cases, the dentist will perform procedures that will change the positioning of your teeth or provide you with muscle relaxants to relax the jaw muscles that are involved in the clenching. 

  • Don’t over-bleach: We all would love to have perfectly white teeth. But that doesn't mean you constantly keep bleaching your teeth to achieve that. Sure, sensitivity caused due to over bleaching is temporary, but prevention is always better. 

  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking could lead to gum disease, which can destroy the bony support of the tooth. 

  • Crack tooth or filling: whenever your teeth undergo minor trauma, always visit the dentist to get it checked, as the crack could go all the way to the root and cause pain. 

Treatment

There are many ways to deal with tooth sensitivity. Your dentist might recommend various ways to treat it and help deal with the pain. Some of them include

  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth: These are desensitising toothpaste is known to help deal with the pain one experiences due to hypersensitivity. If you are not sure about the type of toothpaste to use, you can always consult your dentist.

  • Fluoride gel: Fluorides are effective in repairing eroded enamel. They strengthen your teeth and reduce the pain. 

  • Fillings or bondings that cover exposed roots: If your roots are exposed, your dentist fills the enamel to prevent the root from being exposed. You can apply bonding resin on the sensitive surfaces too.

  • Sealants

  • Surgical gum grafts: Basically, the idea is to take away some gum tissue from another part inside your mouth and graft it to the area that has lost some tissue, thus preventing root exposure.

  • Mouthguard to protect teeth if you grind

  • If your case is serious, your dentist might suggest a root canal: This is the last measure taken when all the above measures do not work on teeth sensitivity. A root canal is basically a procedure that involves cleaning the canals in the root and replacing it with some kind of filling. It is one of the most successful treatment techniques for dealing with tooth sensitivity. 

Conclusion

Teeth sensitivity is something we all deal with but can be avoided if we take perfect care of our teeth. Whenever you experience symptoms like pain in your teeth, do not hesitate to visit a dentist and seek proper care. Keep brushing and flossing gently, maintain proper oral hygiene, eat right and visit your dentist at least twice a year. Do all this, and you are good to go.

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Tags:  oral hygiene ,sensitivity,tooth sensitivity, enamel erosion, root canal

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