Dentist in Milwaukie, Oregon

For individuals who suffer from sensitive teeth, eating, drinking, and even talking can become a painful inconvenience. When teeth become sensitive, consuming sweet, cold, hot or even acidic foods can trigger sharp, sudden sensations of pain that can seem to pulsate out from the tooth to affect the entire jaw.

Tooth sensitivity develops when the dentin, the layer of your tooth found underneath the enamel becomes exposed as a result of a receding gum line. The roots of a tooth contain thousands of small tubules that lead directly to the nerve center of a tooth, and can become easily irritated by outside stimuli. A variety of factors can contribute to gum recession.

Excessive Use of Mouthwash

While there’s nothing wrong with keeping your breath minty fresh, frequent or excessive use of mouthwash could contribute to sensitive teeth. The majority of mouthwashes on the market contain high levels of acidity that can damage your teeth’s enamel. Damaged tooth enamel can allow bacteria to infect your teeth, which can lead to gum disease and gum recession. To reduce the damage caused by mouthwash, ask your dentist to recommend a neutral fluoride rinse.

Acidic Foods

Diets that contain plenty of servings of acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, juice, tomatoes, olives, and other types of goodies can erode the enamel that protects the dentin of your teeth. To limit the damage these types of foods cause to the health of your teeth, try neutralizing the acid by pairing these items with a cheese or by drinking milk after you eaten.

Whitening Products

Even though teeth whitening products, such as toothpaste, mouthwash, and gel, are designed to help restore the luster to a smile, excessive use of these types of products can cause tooth sensitivity. Most over-the-counter whitening products feature peroxide-based bleaching agents that can not only strip discoloration from your teeth, but also the enamel as it whitens.

Strenuous Brushing

Even though brushing and flossing daily remains a vital part of protecting the health of your teeth and gums, brushing too vigorously in attempt to thoroughly clean your teeth can wear away and damage the soft tissue of your gums. Brushing to aggressively with a toothbrush that has hard bristles can also damage tooth enamel and expose the delicate dentin that lies underneath.

Cracked Teeth

A variety of factors can contribute to cracks developing in your teeth. Bad habits such as munching on ice, tearing open bags with your teeth, and having large fillings can all cause a crack to form in a tooth’s enamel. Once opened, the crack exposes the nerve center of your tooth, the pulp. Sensitivity can occur when eating causes the crack pieces of a tooth to rub together. Cracks can also fill with bacteria, which lead to inflammation and further pain.


Bruxism, also referred to as teeth grinding, is often an unconscious habit that results in the wearing down of tooth enamel. By constantly grinding your teeth, bruxism causes excessive stress to be placed on the enamel, causing it to become chipped, cracked, and worn down. Over time, this habit can cause the nerves of your teeth to become exposed, which results in tooth sensitivity.

If you have any other questions about sensitive teeth, your best  choice for family and cosmetic dentistry Milwaukie has all the answer to contact us today.