Why Are My Teeth Sensitive to Sugar and How to Alleviate it?

Dental health is an important aspect of every person’s well-being. It involves caring for your teeth, gums and mouth to prevent diseases and maintain oral hygiene. Unfortunately, some are not aware of the health of their teeth, which causes complications in the long run. One of the many issues they usually deal with is teeth sensitivity.

This blog post will answer the question, “Why are my teeth sensitive to sugar?” and provide tips on how to manage this condition.

Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive to Sugar?

Here are the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity to sugar:

1. Worn Tooth Enamel

Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that protects it from damage and decay. Over time, the enamel wears down due to aggressive brushing, grinding or clenching of teeth and acidic/sugary foods or drinks. When the enamel becomes thin or wears away completely, it exposes the sensitive dentin layer underneath, leading to tooth sensitivity.

2. Gum Recession

Gum recession is a common dental problem where the gums pull back from the tooth surface, exposing the sensitive root portion of the tooth. This can happen due to improper brushing techniques, gum disease or aging. When the gums recede, the tooth root is vulnerable to external stimuli, resulting in sensitivity.

3. Dental Procedures

Some dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, fillings and crown placement, can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. These procedures involve manipulating the tooth structure, which can irritate the nerves and lead to sensitivity. Fortunately, the sensitivity usually subsides within a few days or weeks after the procedure.

4. Cracked Teeth

A cracked tooth can cause severe tooth sensitivity as it exposes the inner layers of the tooth to external stimuli. The crack can be caused by trauma, biting on hard objects or even normal wear and tear over time. If left untreated, a cracked tooth may lead to further complications such as infection and decay.

5. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, can cause tooth sensitivity when it reaches the tooth’s inner layers. Decay erodes the protective layer, which exposes the sensitive dentin and pulp inside. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to severe pain, sensitivity and loss.

6. Excessive Plaque

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and can lead to sensitive teeth if not removed regularly. When plaque builds up, it can irritate the gums and cause them to recede, exposing the sensitive root portion of the tooth.

7. Acidic Foods and Beverages

Consuming too many acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, soda and sports drinks, can erode the enamel on your teeth, leading to sensitive teeth. These acidic substances can also irritate the nerves in the teeth, causing discomfort and pain.

8. Aggressive Tooth Brushing

While brushing is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene, overdoing it can cause more harm than good. Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can wear down the enamel and irritate the gums, causing tooth sensitivity. Make sure you always buy a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging your teeth.

9. Sinus Infection

Believe it or not, a sinus infection can also cause tooth sensitivity. This happens because the nerves in your sinuses are close to those in your teeth. So, when you have an infection, it puts pressure on these nerves and causes discomfort in your teeth.

10. Genetics

Unfortunately, genetic factors make some people more prone to tooth sensitivity. Some individuals may have thinner enamel or a higher number of exposed dentinal tubules (tiny channels connecting the dentin to the nerve), making them more sensitive to external stimuli.

Tips on How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

If you’re one of the many people experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, here are ten ways to prevent it and improve oral health.

  • Brush Your Teeth Gently. Brushing too hard can damage the enamel on your teeth, making them more sensitive. It’s important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently in a circular motion to remove plaque and food particles without causing any abrasion to the enamel.
  • Use Desensitizing Toothpaste. Desensitizing toothpaste contains ingredients like potassium nitrate and strontium chloride that block the nerve pathways in your teeth, reducing sensitivity.
  • Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks. Acidic drinks and foods can erode the enamel on your teeth, exposing the sensitive dentin layer underneath. Limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits, tomatoes and soft drinks. Also, avoid eating sweet foods and unhealthy snacks like candies to keep your teeth healthy.
  • Avoid Tooth Grinding. Grinding or clenching your teeth can wear down the enamel faster, which leads to chronic tooth sensitivity. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard to protect them.
  • Use a Fluoride Mouthwash. Fluoride can strengthen the enamel on your teeth, making them less sensitive. Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing to ensure all areas of your mouth are covered.
  • Avoid or Limit Your Consumption of Tobacco Products. Cigarette smoking not only stains and damages your teeth but also irritates your gums and contributes to tooth sensitivity. Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco can greatly improve your oral health. Removing nicotine products from your life can even reduce or eliminate bad breath.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet. A healthy diet with calcium-rich foods, phosphorus and vitamin D is needed for strong and healthy teeth and gums. These nutrients strengthen the enamel and protect against tooth sensitivity. 
  • Get Regular Dental Check-Ups. Regular dental check-ups are necessary for good oral health and preventing tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can look for any underlying issues causing your sensitivity and recommend appropriate treatment.
  • Use a Mouthguard During Sports. If you play contact sports, consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth from injuries. A blow to the mouth can cause cracks or chips in the enamel, leading to sensitivity and even pain.
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene. Finally, practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent tooth sensitivity. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss daily and use an antibacterial mouthwash to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Call Tolley Dental for All of Your Teeth Sensitivity Problems!

If you’ve recently asked yourself, “Why my teeth are sensitive to sugar?” you’re not alone. It’s a common problem that many people face, and it can be incredibly frustrating. With the help of our experienced dentists, you don’t have to suffer from sensitive teeth anymore.

At Tolley Dental, we are dedicated to providing top-notch dental care and helping our patients overcome their teeth sensitivity issues. We understand how uncomfortable and disruptive this problem can be, and we’re here to help.

Call us now to schedule an appointment and let us help you get to the root of your teeth sensitivity problems!