You just took a bite of your favorite dessert and now your teeth hurt, is that so? Well, you must be a big sweet junkie, as having excessively sugary foods and drinks make your teeth sensitive. But what to do now? It's not just you, so many people complain their teeth hurt when eating sweets but no cavities.
In most instances, this happens when your dental enamel gets damaged, making your teeth sensitive to sugary stuff. That said, there could be other reasons for it causing you to hurt. After doing proper research on this topic, we have come up with possible causes and solutions for this specific condition.
Quick Tip to instantly manage pain due to sugar sensitivity: Clean your teeth with a soft bristle brush with Sensodyne Rapid Relief after having sugary food.
What is Sugar Sensitivity?
No, if you are thinking that ‘sugar sensitivity’ is a new dental condition. In fact, 1 in every 8 Americans has sensitive teeth and the condition is more popular among children and adults. Tooth sensitivity can happen at any stage of your life, regardless of your eating habits. Those who are specifically sensitive to sugar are called sugar sensitive. It is a dental problem where you don’t have cavities, but you still feel sharp, tingling, or stabbing pain when you have sugary stuff.
6 Causes of Sugar Sensitivity
In a normal state, teeth don’t hurt when eating sugary foods. However, if you experience the opposite, there must be some underlying health issue that you should be aware of. Here we have listed some possible causes of sugar sensitivity.
1. Worn down Enamel
Enamel is a hard protective layer on your teeth that protects them from physical, chemical, and thermal damage. If this weren’t for enamel, you would be unable to eat or drink cold and hot food items. Since enamel also protects your teeth from decaying and getting cavities, your teeth start to erode if it wears down, increasing the chances of tooth decay. Therefore, it’s important to shed light on what causes your dental enamel to destroy.
Read more: How to Fix Enamel Erosion and Prevent it?
Brushing twice a day is considered a healthy habit. However, using a hard bristle brush twice a day can damage your enamel. Dentists recommend using a soft bristle brush that is gentle on your teeth. You can also opt for electric toothbrushes and use them in a circular motion against your teeth.
Consuming Acidic Foods:
Acidic foods wear down dental enamel. Not just are they bad for your teeth but for your overall health. Even though enamel is the hardest protective layer protecting your teeth, acidic foods weaken your enamel and erode it eventually. What foods damage enamel? Cranberries, pickles, coffee, alcohol, or anything that has tomato added to it. Enamel doesn’t break down in just a day. It gradually becomes weak day by day and gets damaged, ultimately.
2. Damaged Tooth
A damaged tooth due to any trauma or an accident can cause a sensitive tooth. If you ever got caught in an accident and got your teeth damaged or hurt your teeth while playing sports or running, you may experience sugar sensitivity. Also, sometimes when you get your root surface polished, you experience sensitivity.
Bruxism, commonly called teeth grinding, is a condition or a coping mechanism of your body to stress. The person with this condition grinds their teeth in their sleep, which makes them weak or even damaged in severe cases. So yeah, if you have a habit of teeth grinding, there are high chances that you have a sugar sensitivity.
4. Teeth Whitening Treatments
As promising as they sound, teeth whitening treatments have their own bunch of side effects. They may give you that pearl-white shine you desire, but eventually, they will make your teeth sensitive. Especially laser teeth whitening is known for causing sensitivity due to the use of hydrogen peroxide in the procedure. That said, the teeth sensitivity caused by these treatments fades away on its own.
5. Gum Disease
Gum recession and sensitive teeth are two major symptoms of gum disease. People who suffer from gum disease have infections in their gums which causes their teeth to become sensitive. Especially, in the case of gingivitis and periodontitis, you feel severe sugar sensitivity and bad gums.
6. Bad Eating Habits
Well, this one is quite evident. Eating acidic and sugary foods can badly affect your oral health. When you have bad oral hygiene and you consume sugars and acids in large amounts, bacteria begin to munch on those leftovers, and as a result, it causes plaque buildup and bad teeth. Teeth sensitivity is the initial stage of your oral recession, eventually leading to tooth loss or gum diseases.
5 Ways to Treat Sugar Sensitive Teeth
Fortunately, we live in an era with a solution to every problem. Sugar sensitivity can be treated without going to a dentist by maintaining good oral hygiene. Following, we have suggested some ways to deal with sugar-sensitive teeth.
1. Limit your Sugar intake
Of course, this has to be the number one priority. Even though the damage has already been done, you can still manage it by limiting your sugar intake. Also, by limiting sugar we don’t just avoid candies but anything that has large amounts of sugar in it, for instance, cereals, salad dressings, fruit juices, artificial sweeteners, soups, etc. too much sugar not just causes sensitivity in teeth but impact your overall health. Therefore, completely cutting down on sugar would be ideal.
2. Avoid Acidic Foods
As we mentioned previously, acids are quite harmful to your dental health. They initially cause sensitivity and later lead to dental erosion. You must avoid acidic foods during this condition, including lemon, pickles, carbonated drinks, honey, yogurt, ice cream, cocktails, and wines.
3. Improve your Brushing Habits
Changing poor brushing habits will help tons to cure sugar-sensitive teeth. First, change your toothbrush if you use a hard bristle one, and don’t scrub your teeth as you file your nails. Exerting too much pressure on your teeth and scrubbing with a hard bristle brush damage your enamel and leave your teeth unprotected from external threats.
4. Use Desensitizing Toothpaste
Several desensitizing toothpastes come on the market to block the pain and give your relief from pain. You can either check online directly or consult your dentist to find a good desensitizing toothpaste. Also, dentists suggest using a fluoride toothpaste for regular brushing to strengthen your enamel and protect your teeth from further damage.
5. Avoid at-home Whitening Treatments
While this may not be true for all whitening kits, some at-home teeth whitening treatments cause damage to your teeth. What it does is it weakens your enamel to get you a clear layer on the top while compromising your upper protective layer. Treatments that contain bleach and hydrogen peroxide must be strictly avoided.
3 Quick Pain Relief Tips for Sugar-Sensitive Teeth
If you are experiencing severe tooth pain due to sensitivity and your dentist’s appointment is at a later date, here are a few tips that might help you:
1. Salt Water Rinse
Salt and water solution works wonders to reduce pain due to sensitivity. Just add a half teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water, stir well, swish in your mouth for like 30 seconds, gargle with it and spit it out. Repeat the process twice a day to see magical results.
2. Honey and Warm Water
Honey is widely used for pain management due to its antibacterial properties. It reduces pain, speeds up the healing process, and vanishes inflammation in a short time. To treat sensitive teeth, mix a spoon of honey in warm water and rinse your mouth.
While turmeric is used as a teeth-whitening agent, it also helps relieve pain due to the presence of the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin. To relieve tooth sensitivity, take some turmeric powder and scrub it on your teeth or alternatively, make a paste from some ground turmeric, a pinch of salt, and mustard oil. Apply it twice a day on your teeth and gums to minimize the pain.
Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Eat Something Sugary?
Whether it's sweets or a sugary dessert, when you have sugar sensitivity, your teeth hurt regardless of the form of sugar you take. Therefore, as we suggested above, avoid having sweets, chewy candies, cereals, ice creams, etc., that directly impact your teeth. Also, sugar sensitivity doesn’t always mean that you have cavities. It also happens when you have weak dental enamel.
We have witnessed several cases where patients have no cavities but teeth hurt when eating sweets. We always recommend changing their brushing habits and toothpaste as an immediate course of action. Once they hop on the path of maintaining oral hygiene, they can include the other prevention methods we have listed above. However, if they feel the pain is unbearable, they need to consult a dentist on an urgent basis.
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