Does the idea of biting into candy make your teeth ache? You’re not alone. One out of eight people living in the United States suffers from tooth sensitivity. Many times, this uncomfortable feeling is caused by eating sweets.
Don’t let your sugar and candy cravings get the best of you! Learn about the symptoms of tooth pain caused by sugar, treatments for tooth sensitivity, and tips to prevent the candy from causing tooth pain.
Signs and symptoms of tooth pain related to sweets
Tooth sensitivity can occur for many reasons. One of the biggest causes of tooth sensitivity is losing the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the hard outer layer that covers each tooth and protects sensitive areas inside of your teeth such as the pulp. The pulp is the soft, inner portion of your teeth where nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue live. When the enamel is worn away, the sensitive area can be exposed which can cause pain. Unfortunately, consuming excess sweets such as candy can lead to a deterioration of your enamel.
If you experience tooth pain when you do any of the following, it’s a good idea to see your dentist:
- Consuming sweet food or beverages that have excess sugar
- Drinking hot or cold food or drinks
- Consuming acidic food or beverages
- Brushing or flossing
- Exposing your teeth to cold air or cold water
Your dentist will help you determine whether the pain is caused by tooth sensitivity and give options to treat it.
Treating tooth sensitivity
If you are diagnosed with sensitive teeth there are many options available to treat and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms.
- Use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth
- There are many kinds of toothpaste on the market that can help treat tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity toothpaste helps by numbing the tooth or by blocking tiny tubes in your teeth called tubules that are connected to the inside of your teeth. Overtime sensitivity toothpaste can build a strong barrier on teeth and reduce tooth pain.
- Add fluoride to your oral health routine
- Fluoride is a mineral that is important for the strength of your teeth. Your dentist may apply topical fluoride to sensitive teeth during a visit. They may also recommend a fluoride rinse that can be used at home.
- Gum graft
- A gum graft is a surgical procedure in which a small amount of gum tissue is taken from another part of your mouth and placed on sensitive areas. This is generally for cases in which the root of the tooth has been exposed.
- Root canal
- Root canals sound scary but they are very successful when it comes to stopping tooth sensitivity. This is because your dentist can treat the sensitivity right at the source – the root of your tooth.
In addition to the steps listed above, it’s important to gently brush your gums and teeth to stop your gums from receding, which can cause additional sensitivity.
How to prevent tooth sensitivity
It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This holds true when it comes to tooth sensitivity. Here are some tips to stop sensitive teeth before they start:
- Avoid sugar
- Avoid tobacco products
- Avoid alcohol-based mouth rinses
- Chew sugarless gum after meals if you are unable to brush your teeth
- Use the correct toothbrush and brush with fluoride toothpaste
- Remember to floss at least twice a day
- Visit your dentist twice a year for routine dental cleaning
Limiting certain items in your diet can also help reduce teeth sensitivity. Hard candies, cough drops, gummies, sticky candies, acidic beverages like orange juice, and sugary drinks can all cause pain if you have sensitive teeth.
Beating tooth sensitivity during the holidays
The holidays are full of treats, sweets, and other goodies that can harm your oral health. The good news is that having a consistent oral health care routine, limiting sugar intake, and visiting the dentist twice a year can help keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Looking for additional tips to improve your oral health? Check out this blog: