Sensitive Teeth & Summer: How to Enjoy Cold Treats Without Pain
Summer is a time for enjoying the warm weather and indulging in cool treats like ice cream, popsicles, and cold drinks. But if you have sensitive teeth, these summertime delights can be a source of pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to enjoy these treats without sacrificing your dental health. Let’s explore the causes of tooth sensitivity.
Summer treats can have an effect on your teeth. Learn how to protect your teeth from damage.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the exposure of dentin, the layer of tissue beneath the enamel that contains tiny tubes that are filled with nerve endings. When the dentin is exposed, hot, cold, or acidic foods and drinks can trigger a sharp, shooting pain.
There are several factors that can cause dentin to become exposed, including:
- Gum recession: When the gums recede, the roots of the teeth become exposed, which can lead to sensitivity.
- Enamel erosion: The protective enamel layer on the teeth can wear away over time, and this can expose the nerves.
- Tooth grinding: Grinding your teeth can wear away the enamel and expose the dentin.
- Acidic foods: Foods and drinks that are high in acid can erode the enamel and expose the dentin.
- Sugary drinks: Drinks that are high in sugar can cause tooth decay, which can lead to sensitivity.
How do summer treats affect your teeth?
Summer treats like ice cream, popsicles, and cold drinks can be a double-edged sword for people with sensitive teeth. On the one hand, they can provide relief from the heat and be a source of enjoyment. On the other hand, they can also be highly acidic and sugary, which can erode the enamel and cause sensitivity.
Ice cream and popsicles are high in sugar, which can cause tooth decay and lead to sensitivity. They can also be highly acidic, especially if they contain fruit flavors or are coated in sour candies. Cold drinks like iced coffee, smoothies, and soda are also high in sugar and can be acidic, which can erode the enamel and cause sensitivity.
How to protect your teeth from damage
The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favorite summer treats to protect your teeth from damage. Here are some tips for enjoying cold foods and drinks without pain:
- Use sensitivity toothpaste: Sensitivity toothpaste is specially formulated to help reduce sensitivity by blocking the tubules in the dentin. Use it regularly to help protect your teeth.
- Drink water: Drinking water after eating sugary or acidic foods can help rinse away the sugar and acid. This will neutralize the pH in your mouth.
- Avoid brushing immediately after eating: Brushing your teeth immediately after eating acidic or sugary foods can actually damage the enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to give your saliva time to neutralize the pH in your mouth.
- Use a straw: Using a straw can help minimize the contact between your teeth and sugary or acidic drinks.
- Limit your intake: While you don’t have to give up your favorite treats entirely, it’s a good idea to limit your intake to prevent damage to your teeth.
In conclusion, tooth sensitivity can put a damper on your summer fun, but with the right precautions, you can still enjoy your favorite cold treats without pain or discomfort.
Regular visits to the dentist are extremely important in managing sensitive teeth. A dental professional can examine your teeth and gums. Then they will check for any underlying dental problems that may be contributing to your tooth sensitivity, and give you recommendations on how to manage and prevent future sensitivity.
Additionally, your dentist can perform professional dental cleanings, removing any buildup of plaque and tartar that could be contributing to your sensitivity. By addressing dental issues early on and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy and reduce the risk of sensitivity.