December 10, 2018
If you’ve ever bitten into a scoop of ice cream and experienced a sharp pain radiate throughout one of your teeth, then you’re familiar with the discomfort that tooth sensitivity can cause. Therefore, if there is a way to prevent it in the future, you’d like to know about it. Your emergency dentist in Fort Lauderdale discusses some of the contributors to sudden sensitivity and the role that your enamel plays in preventing the problem.
The Enamel – The Protector of Your Teeth
Whenever there is a conversation about tooth sensitivity, it has to start with the enamel, which is the outer surface of the teeth. Composed primarily of a mineral called hydroxyapatite, the enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.
This is important because it has the job of defending the more sensitive layers of the tooth that lie beneath it from food and beverage particles, bacteria and other foreign objects that may enter the mouth. Although the enamel is extremely strong, it isn’t infallible, though.
Foods and Beverages That Cause Enamel Wear
Here are some of the foods and beverages that can lead to premature enamel wear:
- Hard candy – The high sugar content of hard candy, coupled with the fact that it rests in the mouth as it dissolves, can lead to premature enamel wear.
- Citrus-based fruits and juices – Fruits like lemons, oranges and tomatoes have a higher acid content than others. Thus, whether in food or juice form, they can contribute to increased enamel wear.
- Cough drops and throat lozenges – While ingesting a cough drop or throat lozenge may seem helpful with suppressing a nagging cough, there can be negative effects on your enamel since most options are higher in sugar.
What Happens When the Enamel Becomes Worn?
Beneath the enamel lies the first layer that contains any nerve activity, which is the dentin. Therefore, when the enamel is compromised, you are more likely to experience bouts of discomfort from the more sensitive dentin layer being affected.
Ways to Overcome Sensitivity
The simplest way to prevent teeth discomfort is to be mindful of the above contributors and to adjust your habits accordingly by making subtle changes. Two simple alterations you can make are to drink through a straw and to also brush your teeth around an hour after consuming more acidic substances.
Additionally, you should select a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent damaging your enamel.
You may also consider using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, which will contain less abrasives. By taking the steps to protect your enamel and regularly visiting your dentist in Fort Lauderdale for preventive care, you can ensure that your teeth will be as strong as possible and that you’ll be able to enjoy the best in oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Mingel is a graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Throughout his career, he has remained steadfast in his efforts to provide his patients with the most comfortable and comprehensive care available. Dr. Mingel helps to prevent tooth sensitivity and dental emergencies at Mingel Dental, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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