Sensitivity in teeth? These 5 foods are responsible for it

That nerve-wrecking feeling of sensitivity in teeth often results in sharp pain. Certain foods can also trigger and worsen it.
Woman with sensitivity in teeth
These foods may be the reason for sensitivity in teeth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Namrata Rupani Updated: 19 Jul 2022, 03:36 pm IST
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Food is a source of nourishment and health for our bodies. However, there are certain foods that can cause harm, especially to our teeth. Since many foods are first broken down in our mouth, they can impact the health of our teeth. And in some cases, this can even trigger sensitivity in teeth. Tooth sensitivity is caused when the protective enamel is damaged. This leaves teeth vulnerable to foods and drinks that can trigger sensitivity. If left unchecked, they could cause long-term damage.

Let us look at some foods that can trigger or worsen sensitivity in teeth:

1. Sweets and candies

Sugar-filled candies stick to the tooth crevices and stimulate the nerves in the dentine. This causes longer-term complications, as the sticky gum damages the tooth enamel, and troubles the exposed nerves in the dentine. This sugar-rich snacking enables the bacteria in the plaque to produce even more acid. And eventually, it eats away the tooth enamel resulting in cavities.

sweets and oral health
Cutting back on sweets and brushing your teeth twice a day is non-negotiable. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Sodas and cold drinks

Carbonated drinks are known defaulters when it comes to the health of your teeth. They dry precious saliva in the mouth, coat the teeth with harmful acids, and can even discolour teeth if they are dark in colour. Since sensitive teeth can be a sign of other serious health issues like cavities or abscesses, consuming cold carbonated drinks can aggravate the situation.

3. Citrus fruits and drinks

Known for their abundance in Vitamin C, citrus fruits contain acid levels that can, over time, erode the tooth enamel and make the teeth vulnerable to decay. Sensitive teeth may experience heightened pain after consuming fruits and drinks that are high in acidic content.

Your sensitivity in teeth can be aggravated if you drink hot and sour drinks often. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Ice cream and hard ice

Ice creams are not just cold, but also have high sugar content. Those with tooth sensitivity do not have the protective barrier that the enamel provides, and ice creams will only worsen the situation, leading to the aggravation of pain. Chewing hard ice is even worse, as it is both cold and hard, and over time, can result in dental emergencies like chipped, cracked, and broken or loosened teeth.

5. Fried chips and wafers

Crunchy chips and wafers are not just sticky, but also loaded with starch. This starch becomes sugar, which then feeds the bacteria in the plaque stuck between the teeth. Spicy chips can have high acid content, and so do tomato and other sauces. These foods are also a red flag, as the acid can easily trigger tooth sensitivity.

Foods exposed to extreme temperatures (hot or cold), as well as those high in sugar and acidic content are known to worsen tooth sensitivity. These foods can induce long-term damage if not controlled in time. Brushing, flossing, rinsing the mouth regularly and periodic visits to the dentist are necessary to help ease tooth sensitivity.

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