The next thing you know, you’re gripping an ice cream cone, mouth salivating, ready for the first taste of overwhelming bliss. As you bite into your favorite flavor, a nagging feeling tugs at your gut. “When was the last time I went to the dentist?” You shove the concern out of your mind, as the ice cream coats your tongue, your teeth, your gums, and the thought of a creamy delicious sensation is now a distant memory.
Without warning, icy coldness shoots through your gums forcing your teeth to quiver in pain. The cone slips through your clammy palms as you reach up to touch the sides of your mouth like that could somehow cure your toothy distress. Ice cream splatter layers across the sidewalk, the broken sugar cone depicting tombstones for this milky graveyard.
How is it that this seemingly benign treat could cause so much pain? Suddenly you realize that that nagging feeling had turned into your very reality. When was the last time you went to the dentist? In the past six months? In the past year? Tooth sensitivities can be a result of many different dental issues, and sometimes they go unbeknownst until the pain hits hard and heavy. They can be agitated by temperature, whether that be a lick of cold ice cream or a sip of hot soup.
But why are your teeth sensitive to begin with? Perhaps it is as simple as too many whitening strips or a lack of brushing and flossing. You are not alone. At least 40 million adults in the U.S. experience sensitive teeth at some point. It is important to catch this and notify your dentist, as they might need to schedule necessary dental procedures.
At home whitening strips are almost too easy, giving you that bright and shiny smile without the fuss. Seemingly too good to be true, and so, there must be a downside. Too much teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity. There is uncertainty surrounding why this is, but we do know that one of the main ingredients in whitening strips, peroxide, can cause irritation to the gums. Take it easy on the strips and save your mouth from unnecessary soreness.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Having poor dental hygiene is a surefire way to sensitize your teeth and most likely send you to your dentist appointment early. When you don’t brush and floss, bacteria grows around your teeth. Toxins are released from the bacteria and your body responds with an immune response. Blood flow is increased to the gums hence the red and puffy appearance, and thus, sensitive mouth and teeth. Maintaining consistent flossing and brushing habits will minimize dentist appointments and dental procedures.
Both teeth whitening and poor dental hygiene can cause tooth sensitivities, but poor dental hygiene can cause more severe problems such as cavities, tooth decay, and gum infection. You can prevent tooth sensitivities by scheduling regular dentist appointments and brushing and flossing daily, but sometimes that’s not quite enough. Taking these necessary precautions and/or necessary dental procedures, will help to ensure you have a pain free summer and are able to indulge in the occasional ice cream cone.