Tooth sensitivity is a common concern, not just for people with braces. The issue often reveals itself as dull or sharp pain when you eat something sweet, sour, cold, or hot. Sensitive teeth can be a sign of a myriad of dental issues, some of which are more serious than others.
If you experience sensitive teeth with braces, continue reading to learn about what could be causing it and what you can do about it.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity can happen to anyone. There are many causes of having sensitive teeth, many of which are normal activities that most of us do every day. Here are the most common reasons that you may have sensitive teeth:
Your dentist told you to brush 2-3 times a day, but just to be safe, you might have adopted a habit of doing it more than that. Just to be safe, you also brush aggressively, using a strong toothbrush to make sure you don’t miss any plaque. Unfortunately, while well-intentioned, overbrushing is one of the most common causes of developing sensitive teeth.
If you brush too hard or too often, your gums can start receding at the same time that the enamel of your teeth slowly begins to wear down. When this happens, newly exposed tooth surfaces can feel sensitive. It won’t go away unless you change your brushing habits.
Solution: Switching to a soft toothbrush, like a new electric brush with a low setting, and brushing in a motion that goes up and down, rather than side to side, can help you reduce your tooth sensitivity by being gentler with your enamel and gums.
You likely know that certain foods trigger the sensitive feeling in your teeth, such as sweet and sour foods, hot drinks, and more. Some of these foods can contribute to developing sensitive teeth, to begin with.
Sugary foods such as soda, fruit juice, and candy can make your teeth more sensitive. Other foods that are hard on teeth over time are those that are very hot or acidic, including wine, citrus fruits like lemon, and even your morning coffee. Over time, these sugars and acids can cause wear and tear on your tooth enamel, leading to sensitive teeth.
Solution: Limit your consumption of the foods mentioned above to reduce the chance that your teeth will be sensitive to them. When you do eat or drink one of those things, keep water on hand to swish in your mouth afterward. This will dilute the acid and prevent some of it from sticking around your teeth and doing damage.
Cause: Tooth products
Peroxide is one chemical that is known to potentially aggravate teeth, leading to symptoms of sensitivity, especially to cold. The teeth whitening products you can buy and use at home likely contain peroxide.
Solution: Stop using products that you think could be causing your inflammation. Try to find alternatives that are less aggressive.
Cause: Bad habits
Bad oral habits can cause teeth to become sensitive over time. One of these habits is teeth grinding, something you may be doing at night without even being aware of it. Over time, teeth grinding wears away your enamel and leads to tooth sensitivity.
Solution: If you grind your teeth during the day, it could be caused by stress. The first step to undoing the habit is to be aware of it. If you grind your teeth at night, a mouthguard while you sleep can help protect your teeth.
Finally, tooth sensitivity can be caused by cavities, which expose the tooth under the enamel and can cause sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods.
Solution: Cavities need to be addressed as soon as possible by your dentist, who will evaluate the damage and prescribe a treatment plan.
Sensitive Teeth With Braces?
Braces are not a common cause of major tooth sensitivity. However, the pressure exerted by braces can make pre-existing sensitivity caused by one of the factors listed above even worse. This change is often minor and temporary. However, sensitive teeth with braces can occur, regardless of whether the braces cause it.
Speak with your dentist if you notice ongoing discomfort. They can examine the condition of your teeth and make recommendations on how to reduce sensitivity.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.