Lots of people who have sensitive teeth think they just have to live with the condition and they give up foods and drinks they love. What they don't know is, they can control, and maybe even eliminate, their sensitivity and still enjoy those treats.
Dentist said for people with sensitive teeth, the pain they feel is mostly likely happening because they're having issues with the enamel on their teeth. It's the thickest part of a tooth and the first line of defense against sensitivity.
“There's many different things that can damage the enamel," said Dr. Rob Gausmann, Dentist. "One of the most common one is many of the items that we drink. There's soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, different types of wine, and the reason those are challenging to enamel, is they are full of acid.”
Some vegetables and fruits contain acids, as do sour candies. Jawbreakers and nuts don't have acids but they're hard and can crack the enamel.
Another problem? You may be brushing your teeth wrong.
“Some folks really like to get their teeth clean and they scrub along there," said Dr. Gausmann. "You get your teeth clean, but the problem is you can actual damage your teeth when you do that. You can wear away tooth structure and you can actually wear away some of the gum tissue along there. Well if you wear away tooth structure we are making it thinner and you get more cold transmitting to the nerve for more cold sensitivity and then the gum tissue actually protects the tooth a little bit to. So if you wear that away it exposes more of that tooth that's thinner and more cold sensitivity with it."
What about those toothpastes designed specifically for sensitive teeth? Experts tell Angie's List that toothpaste, rinses or trays that contain fluoride are good ideas because they'll help strengthen teeth, which reduces sensitivity.
If you're one of those who likes to use over the counter teeth whitening products, Dr. Gausmann said you're probably okay as long as your products are approved by the American Dental Association.