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Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Eat Sugar?

What’s that sharp pain you feel in your teeth when you indulge in your favourite candy or dessert? You may be experiencing tooth sensitivity, a common dental issue that affects many people. Tooth sensitivity can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and can make eating or drinking certain foods and beverages difficult.

Your teeth may be sensitive to sugar because of cavities, erosion of your enamel, or receding gums. You can manage tooth sensitivity with positive dental hygiene habits and dental visits for a cleaning every 6 months.

You can indulge in your favourite sweets without permanently damaging your teeth by staying on top of your dental health, but when you do notice sensitivity or other signs of issues like cavities, it’s important to pay attention to them and visit your dentist to address them with treatment.

Sugar & Tooth Decay

One of the main reasons why your teeth may hurt when you eat sugar is due to tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, producing acids that attack your enamel, the protective layer of your teeth. Over time, this can lead to cavities, which can cause pain and sensitivity in your teeth.

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for preventing tooth decay, including brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Enamel Erosion

Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects the sensitive dentin and pulp underneath. As enamel erodes, the sensitive layers of your teeth can be exposed, leading to tenderness when you eat sweets.

Acidic foods and drinks, such as soda, citrus fruits, and vinegar, can erode your enamel, exposing the underlying dentin and causing tooth sensitivity. Limiting your intake of acidic foods and drinks is vital for preventing enamel erosion. You should also rinse your mouth with water after consuming them and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to allow your enamel to reharden.

Receding Gums (Gum Disease)

Gum recession often occurs as a result of gum disease. When gingivitis and other issues affecting your gum line go untreated, your gums can pull back from your teeth, exposing the roots, which are more sensitive because they lack enamel. 

Sugar can aggravate teeth affected by receding gums, causing pain and sensitivity when it comes into contact with the exposed root. To prevent receding gums, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing gently and avoiding tobacco products.

How To Manage Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can affect anyone and can be caused by various factors, such as aggressive brushing, gum disease, and a high-sugar diet. Fortunately, there are methods that can help manage and reduce tooth sensitivity.

Identify the Cause

The first step in managing tooth sensitivity is to identify the root cause. A visit to your dentist can help you determine the underlying issue causing your tooth sensitivity. If sugar is the primary reason for tooth discomfort, your dentist can provide advice on maintaining good oral health and may recommend you limit your intake of sugary foods.

Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Sensitive teeth can benefit from desensitizing toothpaste, which can help relieve pain and discomfort by blocking the tiny channels in your teeth that lead to the nerves beneath the enamel.

While desensitizing toothpaste can't undo existing damage, it may help prevent future oral health issues. 

Desensitizing toothpaste shouldn’t be considered a substitute for oral care. It’s important to discuss toothpaste options and other treatments for sensitive teeth with your dentist to get personalized recommendations based on your unique needs.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

Eating a healthy and balanced diet can be good for your overall wellness and oral health. If you have sensitive teeth, you should avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes and oranges and limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks, which can erode your tooth enamel.

Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated and flush out any excess food particles stuck to your teeth. This is especially important if you won't be able to brush for several hours. Rinsing your mouth can flush away the sugary acids bacteria need to thrive.

Consider Dental Treatments

If you are dealing with severe tooth sensitivity, your dentist may recommend various treatments like fluoride varnish, bonding, or a dental crown. Fluoride treatments can help strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity.

Scheduling a dental cleaning every 6 months is also essential for keeping plaque and tartar from eating away at your enamel and causing cavities or tooth sensitivity. A visit to the dentist can help you address specific concerns about sensitive teeth and determine whether dental procedures are necessary to reduce sensitivity and support your oral health.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, is a critical way to prevent tooth sensitivity. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid brushing too aggressively. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months or earlier if the bristles become frayed, and use a fluoride mouthwash to protect against cavities and reduce tooth sensitivity.

Protect Your Teeth From Sugar Damage

You don't have to give up sugar entirely if you have a sweet tooth. Eating sugar in moderation, practicing good oral hygiene, and protecting your enamel can help reduce sensitivity from your favourite sweets.

by Shine Dental

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