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Why Your Teeth Are Sensitive to Sugar


If you love sugary foods but experience tooth sensitivity when eating your favorite desserts, you’re not alone. Sugar-sensitive teeth are common and often result from incorrect dental hygiene practices that can damage the protective layers of your teeth. Luckily, you can still enjoy sugary snacks without pain or discomfort by engaging in good oral habits for your teeth.

What Makes Your Teeth Sensitive to Sugar?

Though sugar tastes great, it can be damaging to your teeth. Most sweets contain fermentable carbohydrates that create acids when they join with the bacteria in your mouth. These acids can result in decay, ultimately triggering tooth sensitivity. Foods that are higher in sugar content tend to promote higher acid production and, therefore, greater enamel loss.

Aside from sugar alone, there are many other factors that can cause your teeth to hurt when eating sweets.

Enamel Loss

Enamel loss is arguably the biggest contributor to teeth sensitivity to sugar. Enamel is the outer layer of the teeth that protects them from cavities and decay. When external forces like sugar break down your enamel, they expose the sensitive layer of your teeth, granting irritants easier access to the nerve center. When irritants penetrate the nerves, they can result in sharp tooth pain and discomfort.

There are many factors that can gradually erode your enamel. Brushing too hard and eating acidic foods are primary causes, damaging your teeth and making way for sugar sensitivity.

Situational Factors

There are many circumstantial factors that can lead to sugar-sensitive teeth, such as:

  • Tooth damage: If your teeth have ever endured physical damage, such as a sports-related accident or nighttime grinding, the injury may have caused a sugar sensitivity.
  • Cavities: Sugar sensitivity may indicate that you have cavities that need filling.
  • Tooth-whitening: Some tooth-whitening treatments can cause temporary sensitivity to sugar that usually fades with time.
  • Gum disease: Gum diseases like gingivitis can result in sugar sensitivity.

Preventing Teeth Sensitivity to Sugar

The best way to avoid tooth sensitivity to sugar is to practice good oral health. There are two primary practices you can implement into your current routine to prevent enamel loss in the future.

1. Practice Better Eating Habits

Changing your eating habits is an excellent way to avoid sugar sensitivity. You don’t have to give up sweets, but try reducing your sugar intake and avoiding foods that are high in acidity to decrease the risk of cavities and preserve your tooth enamel. You can also eat a balanced diet of healthy foods that actively protect against enamel loss, such as vegetables, yogurt, milk, cheese and fiber-rich foods.

2. Change Your Brushing Habits

Correcting negative brushing habits can make a significant difference in tooth health. For example, if you brush too forcefully, try practicing a gentler brushing style or switching out your toothbrush for a soft bristle brush to reduce damage. When brushing your teeth, be sure not to move your toothbrush back and forth across your teeth — rather, try brushing in a circular motion for the best results.

You can also invest in a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These kinds of toothpaste usually contain stannous fluoride, an active ingredient proven to combat teeth sensitivity.

Schedule an Appointment for Your Sugar-Sensitive Teeth at Dental Choice Today

If your teeth hurt when eating sweets, you can seek professional assistance at Dental Choice. When you book dental services with us, we’ll work to give you a positive experience you’ll remember.

Request an appointment for your sensitive teeth today!

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Bagdan.




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