Most people don’t think twice about having a hot cup of coffee or a dish of ice cream. But sensitive teeth can make eating hot and cold foods miserable.

There’s no reason to suffer, however. You can visit your Plantation family dentist for advice on how to alleviate tooth pain and get back on your way to enjoying the foods you love.

Dentist Susan Maples, D.D.S,  told Self magazine there can be several causes for sensitive teeth, and there is something you can do about them.

Maples, the author of Blabber Mouth! 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You to Live a Healthier, Happier, Sexier Life, says the following are the five biggest reasons people have sensitive teeth

  1. Your enamel has eroded

The enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth, is supposed to help shield the inside of your teeth from things that can cause sensitivity. A substance called cementum protects your teeth’s roots, which contain blood vessels and nerves.

But dental erosion wears away so hot, cold, sweet, sticky or acidic foods and drinks can reach and irritate the nerves and cells inside your teeth

Acid from food, acid reflux or vomiting can damage your teeth over time, causing dental erosion.

The American Dental Association says dairy products like milk and yogurt may help ward off erosion.

2) You have a cavity

Cavities, also known as tooth decay or dental caries, are caused by plaque that hasn’t been removed from your teeth via brushing and flossing. Cavities are small holes in the enamel. Bacteria can get into the holes and attack the nerves, causing pain.

Without prompt treatment, cavities can actually drill past the enamel of your teeth and into the dentin, where they can cause some serious sensitivity,

3) Your gums have receded

Gum disease and other factors like brushing your teeth too hard or with too hard of a toothbrush can cause gum recession, leaving your nerves exposed.

Injuries, smoking and genetics also play a role.

4) You have a cracked tooth

A cracked tooth can expose your tooth’s pulp, leaving nerves and blood vessels exposed to irritants. You will need to have the crack filled and may need a root canal.

5) You over-bleached your teeth

Bleaching can make your teeth sensitive. Bleaching occasionally seems to be okay, but if you do it regularly the peroxide in the bleach can wear down your tooth’s enamel.

Sometimes, desensitizing toothpaste can help. But make sure you make an appointment with your Plantation family dentist if your problems persist.

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