Picture this: you’re eating an ice-cold snack on a hot summer day when suddenly, your sensitive tooth reminds you it’s alive and (un)well.
We know how annoying and disruptive sensitive teeth can be, but we also know that understanding the cause of your sensitivity can lead to a long-term solution. That’s why we’re diving into 10 commoncauses of sensitive teeth and providing realistic, everyday solutions....many of which revolve around brushing daily with hydroxyapatite toothpaste.
Because it’s time to get to the root of your sensitivity....and solve the problem once and for all.
1: acidic, sugary substances
Acidic substances (citrus fruits, vinegar, tomatoes, yogurt, etc.) can erode your enamel and wear down your gum line over time. This “opens the door” for bacteria and other substances to enter the inner layers of your teeth, exposing the tubules that lead to your tooth’s center nerve.
Foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates can have the same effect. This is because the bacteria in your mouth (and gut) release acids to break down these carbohydrates, depositing more acid on your enamel and gums and leading to sensitivity.
Don’t worry, daily brushing with our hydroxyapatite toothpaste can clean up the acids, plaque, and bacteria in your mouth while also providing enamel repair, making your teeth stronger and more resilient to future threats.
2: brushing too aggressively
One of the lesser-known causes of sensitive teeth is brushing too hard. That’s right, aggressive brushing doesn’t actually clean your teeth more effectively!
Over time, it can cause more harm than good by wearing down your enamel and gum line. To avoid this, we recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush (like our bamboo toothbrush) and practicing mindfulness every time you brush. Make an effort to brush with soft motions, gently sweeping over your teeth and gums in circular or back-and-forth motions without pressing too hard.
3: teeth grinding
Do you feel tension headaches and jaw soreness after a long day or a night of sleep? These could be signs that you grind your teeth when you’re sleeping (or subconsciously throughout the day when you’re stressed).
Constantly clenching your teeth can also lead to enamel and gum damage, causing pain in your muscles and sensitivity in your teeth! Be sure to check out our previous article to help identify some reasons why you might be grinding your teeth....and how our hydroxyapatite toothpaste can help repair the damage. In short, the nano hydroxyapatite (n-ha) particles in our formula can actually bind to your enamel and repair the small holes, scratches, and depressions caused by grinding.
4: teeth whitening with peroxides
Do you whiten your teeth with peroxide-based products? While hydrogen peroxide + carbamide peroxide are effective bleaching agents, they’re famous for causing sensitivity, burning, itching, redness, and swelling because they strip your enamel.
Don’t worry, there’s a more natural approach to whitening that actually fortifies your enamel. Meet PAP teeth whitening, aka the peroxide-free future of teeth whitening. PAP is an organic acid that activates bleaching, and it’s often mixed with hydroxyapatite to give you a gentle whitening formula that nurtures enamel repair and soothes sensitivity as it whitens. What’s not to love?
5: chemical mouthwash
Are you using conventional mouthwash every day? Many chemical mouthwashes contain alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, both of which are very harsh on your enamel and gums and lead to pain and sensitivity.
Instead of completely wiping out all of the microorganisms in your mouth with chemical mouthwash, we recommend tongue scraping and/or switching to a more natural mouthwash. By making these swaps, you’re nurturing a healthier balance of bacteria in your oral microbiome (yes, good bacteria exist and are essential for your oral and overall health).
6: plaque buildup around the gumline
Plaque and tartar are two things that will really harm your enamel and gum line over time, leading to very uncomfortable tooth sensitivity.
When plaque (a gooey buildup of bacteria) sits on your teeth for 24-72 hours, it hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by dental professionals. So if your teeth feel rough when you press your tongue against them, you’re past due for a visit to the dentist! To prevent plaque and tartar buildup, brush daily with our hydroxyapatite toothpaste, which contains micro-abrasives to break down plaque, xylitol and peppermint oils to kill bad bacteria, and hydroxyapatite to deliver enamel repair.
7: acid reflux
Just like acidic foods can cause sensitivity, so can acid reflux. This is just another example of how your gut health and oral health are so closely intertwined.
Although many doctors will prescribe an antiacid medication, we feel it’s essential for your holistic health to identify the root cause of your acid reflux. Do you have low stomach acid levels from stress, magnesium deficiency, poor eating habits, H. Pylori infection, or hypothyroidism? We encourage you to visit both a medical doctor and a functional doctor in your area to develop a plan of action that best nourishes your oral and overall health.
8: cavity, cracked tooth, worn fillings
It may seem obvious, but cavities, cracked teeth, and worn fillings are all leading causes of sensitivity and discomfort.
If your sensitivity persists despite daily brushing with hydroxyapatite toothpaste, it’s best to get it checked out by your dentist to see if the enamel wear has progressed to decay. Dental professionals can also check for cracks in your teeth and worn fillings. As you get older, fillings can weaken and bacteria can build up around the edges, leading to really uncomfortable sensitivity that only your dentist can straighten out.
9: gum recession + gum disease
You can see that many of the above causes of sensitive teeth revolve around enamel wear and gum health. If your gums begin to recede or form “pockets” because of periodontitis, you’re going to experience persistent sensitivity.
When your gums recede, they expose parts of your teeth that aren’t meant to come in contact with the outside world. The lower parts of your teeth (which are usually protected by your gums) contain tubules that lead to your center nerve, so when they become exposed, sensitivity starts.
If you notice your sensitivity is coupled with bleeding gums, redness, and inflammation, you might be dealing with gum disease. It’s best to get your gums checked out by your dentist to craft a personalized plan of action.
We can’t stress this enough: it’s so important to start caring for your enamel and gums as early as possible, so you can prevent sensitivity as you age. So, if you’ve been waiting to try out hydroxyapatite toothpaste, our best advice is to go for it.
Your oral care habits, eating habits, everyday wear and tear, and genetics all accumulate over time, which can lead to sensitivity throughout adulthood. As you age, you might also be introduced to new medications that can lead to dry mouth and sensitivity, so it’s best to start enamel-strengthening habits when you’re young.