Tooth sensitivity is very common. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) indicates that as many as 40 million people report some type of tooth sensitivity. You may be sensitive to hot foods and drinks, cold food and drinks, crunchy foods, or some combination of all of those. Sensitive teeth and thin enamel are two issues that require many people, just like you, to watch what they eat and drink.
If you want to learn more about tooth sensitivity or thin enamel by visiting a general dentist in Rochester, New York, please read on to see which foods should be avoided, which drinks exacerbate tooth sensitivity, and how thin enamel can make some foods and drinks difficult to ingest.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
According to the Cleveland Clinic website, there are many causes of tooth sensitivity. Teeth sensitivity typically occurs when the underlying layer of your teeth, known as the “dentin,” becomes exposed, possibly due to wear and tear of your teeth and gum recession. Gum recession occurs when your gum tissue pulls away from the tooth, exposing your tooth roots.
You may have heard or read that your tooth’s enamel is the hardest naturally occurring substance in the human body; however, tooth roots are not covered by enamel. The roots contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the center of your tooth, known as the “pulp.” These tubules allow stimuli from hot or cold food and drinks to reach the nerve in your tooth, resulting in pain. Tooth sensitivity is also associated with cavities, periodontal disease (advanced gingivitis), and cracked or broken teeth.
Some of the other most common causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Teeth grinding
- At-home tooth whitening products
- Plaque buildup
- Acidic foods
- Certain dental procedures
- Brushing too hard
- Certain mouthwashes
A Little About Thin Enamel…
Rochester, NY, general dentists often see people with thinning enamel. If left untreated, thin enamel can cause fairly serious dental problems because thin enamel is less able to protect your teeth from damage than healthy enamel can. Thin enamel could also eventually affect the aesthetics of your teeth, gums, and smile. In many people, enamel erosion is gradual, so you may only notice it once your teeth are damaged.
Sugars, starches, and acids do the most damage to your tooth’s enamel and are the main causes of thin enamel. Sugars, starches, and acids have a corrosive quality that damages the enamel over time, especially when those substances are left on the teeth for a long period of time (like when you don’t brush often enough).
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, thinning enamel, and finding it difficult to ingest certain foods and beverages, you will likely need to see a Rochester, New York, general dentist for a comprehensive examination, including x-rays.
Avoid These Foods and Drinks
Sugars, starches, and acids are the biggest enemies of enamel and healthy teeth. If you have sensitive teeth or thinning enamel, you should also avoid the following:
- Alcoholic beverages (mainly wine and beer)
- Citrus fruit juices
- Ice cream
- Very hot coffee
- Sticky candy
- Hard candy
- Simple carbohydrates (candy, cookies, cake, chips)
- Crunchy foods like nuts
- Sparkling water
Eat/Drink This Instead
There are many delicious foods and drinks that are better for those of you with sensitive teeth and thin enamel.
- Dairy products like yogurt and cheese. These are high in calcium and protein, which help to strengthen teeth.
- Fruit and vegetables that are high in fiber, like apples and carrots. These foods help produce saliva, which washes away harmful substances from your teeth.
- Some nuts, like almonds, are very healthy for your teeth and enamel. Almonds are high in calcium and protein but low in sugar and make an excellent snack choice for everyone.
Learn More About Tooth Sensitivity and Thin Enamel in Rochester, New York
If you find eating and drinking certain foods and beverages painful due to tooth sensitivity, please call the general dentists at Contemporary Dentistry (585) 244-3337 serving Rochester, New York, and surrounding areas. You may also fill out our online contact form, and one of our amazing dental team members will reach out to answer questions or schedule a new patient evaluation.