If you have sensitive teeth, you already know it. Cold or frozen foods can wreak havoc on your pearly whites. Here are some things you can do to lessen the pain in your mouth.

You may be brushing your teeth too vigorously or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Over time, you can wear down the protective layers of your teeth and expose the microscopic hollow tubes or canals that lead to your dental nerves. Switch up your toothbrush with softer bristles and go easy on your teeth when brushing.

Eating excessive amount of acidic foods like tomato sauce, grapefruits and pickles can cause pain so watch what you eat, your teeth will appreciate it.

Even though enamel is the strongest substance in your body, grinding your teeth can wear it down. You’ll expose the dentin, the middle layer of the tooth, which contains the hollow tubes that lead to your nerves.

Mouth guards can stop you from grinding and the best ones are custom made to fit your bite.

Tooth-whitening toothpastes have chemicals that are added to their formulas and some people are more sensitive to them than others — check your toothpaste, it could be the culprit.

Some over-the-counter mouthwashes and rinses contain alcohol and other chemicals that can make your teeth more sensitive especially if your dentin’s exposed. Try neutral fluoride rinses or just skip the rinse.

Receding gums, which are increasingly common with age can cause tooth sensitivity. If gum disease or gingivitis is the problem, your dentist may suggest a procedure to seal your teeth along with treating the gum disease itself.

An excessive build-up of plaque can cause your enamel to wear away. Make sure you practice good daily dental care and visit your dentist for cleanings every six months or more frequently if necessary.

Teeth often become more sensitive after you’ve been in the dentist’s chair — a root canal, an extraction, or the placement of a crown. If your sensitivity doesn’t disappear after a short time, visit your dentist, as it could be an infection.

A chipped or cracked tooth can cause pain that goes beyond tooth sensitivity. Your dentist will need to evaluate your tooth and decide the right course of treatment, such as a cap or an extraction.

As you get older, fillings can weaken and fracture or leak around the edges. It’s easy for bacteria to accumulate in these tiny crevices, which causes acid build-up and enamel breakdown.

If your sensitivity is extreme and persists no matter what you do, see your dentist for an evaluation so they can determine the most likely cause of your tooth sensitivity and the best solution for your particular situation.

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