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When tooth enamel erodes it can expose the dentin layer which lies underneath. Dentin is the layer above the gum line and cementum is the layer of the tooth beneath the gum line. Exposed dentin can cause hypersensitivity to hot or cold foods, or even cold air as you breathe in, because of the tubules that lead to the nerves.

What causes tooth sensitivity? Brushing your teeth too hard, not taking care of your teeth—daily brushing and flossing and taking care of cavities. If your dentist rules out tooth decay, infection or bruxism, you may find relief using some simple techniques.

— Switch to a soft bristled tooth brush, and be gentle in your movements. You are in this for the long haul, not running a race to brush your enamel away! Keep flossing in between as well! You don’t want gingivitis.

— Switch to a desensitizing toothpaste, you can find them at your local drugstore and also by prescription (check with your dentist).

— Use a fluoride mouthwash rinse after brushing and flossing your pearly whites, you may even talk to your dentist about having one prescribed.
— Avoid heavy teeth whitening agents, especially if they involve using baking soda.

— Limit your intake of acidic drinks and food (including lemons, limes, oranges, apple cider vinegar, etc.) These lower the neutralizing pH in your mouth.

— Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production in your mouth. Saliva has antibacterial properties that wash away bacterial acids.

And be sure to keep your scheduled dental cleanings so that you stay on top of any tooth problems that may arise. Please call our dental office if you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral health. 586-685-0880.