Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive?

Nearly 40 million American adults have sensitive teeth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. It’s a very common problem that can keep people from enjoying the hot and cold foods they love. Your dentist in Boerne understands how frustrating and painful having sensitive teeth can be. But what causes sensitive teeth… and is there anything you can do to reduce tooth sensitivity at home? 

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

There are any number of things that can cause tooth sensitivity, and it’s best to talk with your Boerne dentist to determine the reason behind any sensitivity you may be experiencing. Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Doing Too Much. There is such a thing as doing too much to care for your smile, and oftentimes, overdoing it can mean problems with tooth sensitivity. For example, brushing your teeth too hard or with a stiff-bristled brush can cause damage to tooth enamel and even the gums, both of which leave your nerves more exposed and put you at increased risk for sensitivity. 
  • Teeth Grinding. Chronic teeth grinders are not only more likely to have chipped or damaged teeth, they’re also more likely to have tooth sensitivity. Constantly grinding your teeth together quickly wears away enamel and exposes the tooth roots. 
  • Damaged Teeth. Teeth that have been damaged by either decay or have sustained chips or cracks can easily be the cause behind your sensitive teeth. Again, any damage to the enamel leaves nerves open to the elements, which can be painful. 
  • Gum Disease. Tooth sensitivity doesn’t necessarily only happen with eating or drinking hot or cold things. Sometimes, teeth are sensitive pretty much all of the time. If this is the case, there’s a good chance that gum disease is the cause.   

How to Treat Sensitive Teeth

In order to figure out the best way to treat sensitive teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Boerne. In the meantime, try these at-home tips.  

Avoid Trigger Foods

If your tooth sensitivity shows up or gets worse when you eat something hot or cold, try your best to avoid those foods or drinks until you can get treated by your dentist. Acidic foods and drinks can also cause sensitivity to flare up so be careful with things like citrus, wine, and even coffee. 

Use a Soft Toothbrush

If your tooth sensitivity is fairly new, you may be able to reduce pain by switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush immediately. In fact, everyone should use a soft-bristled toothbrush to either help with tooth sensitivity or avoid it in the first place. 

Try a New Toothpaste

There are a number of different kinds of toothpaste available that are formulated specifically for sensitive teeth. Look for a product that helps with sensitivity and has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. 

If you suddenly notice tooth sensitivity, or have been battling with it for some time, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dental team can find out what’s causing your sensitivity and recommend the best way to treat it so you can get relief once and for all.

Where Should I Rest My Tongue?

Have you ever found yourself laying in bed, trying to get comfortable, and you randomly think, “where am I supposed to rest my tongue?” Surprisingly, this is a very real and very common thought many people have but may not share. If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck because your dentist in Boerne has the answer. 

Tongue Posture / Tongue Positioning

Whether or not you’ve ever thought about where your tongue was supposed to rest in your mouth, it is a thing that your dentist may talk to you about. You may have heard this described as tongue posture or tongue positioning, both of which refer to how and where you rest your tongue naturally while at rest. Why does this matter? We’re glad you asked. 

Why Is Proper Tongue Posture Important?

Tongue posture may sound a little silly, but the truth is, positioning your tongue properly can help protect your overall health. The tongue is a strong muscle and can affect not only your teeth, but your sinuses, eyes, nose, head, neck, and shoulders. Those who don’t have proper tongue placement can suffer from: 

How to Rest Your Tongue

There’s actually a right way and a wrong way to rest your tongue, and an estimated 50% of the population do it incorrectly. 

The Wrong Way – A common, yet wrong, way to hold your tongue in your mouth is to rest it on the bottom teeth or the at the bottom of the mouth. This can cause the tongue to put constant pressure on the teeth and make them shift, become crowded, or create a bad, sometimes painful, bite. 

The Right Way – Your dentist in Boerne will recommend that you gently rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth and about a half an inch away from the back of your front teeth. At the same time, your lips should be closed, and your teeth held slightly apart to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on your teeth. Practicing proper tongue posture over time, and especially while we’re growing, can help expand the palate, leaving enough room for your teeth to develop properly without crowding.

Benefits of Proper Posture

We’ve already talked about how properly resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth can help teeth develop properly without overlapping, but there are other benefits to having good tongue posture, including: 

  • No neck, jaw, or head pain
  • Better breathing
  • Better sleep
  • Improved appearance 

Proper tongue posture can help people have a better overall posture and a natural appearance. Those who tend to rest tongues on the bottom of the mouth can accidentally create a longer, flatter face shape and a chin or forehead that juts forward. Go ahead, try it out. First, rest your tongue properly on the roof of your mouth then move the whole thing to the bottom of the mouth. You should feel a pretty obvious shift in your chin, neck, and head.  

If you think you may have bad tongue posture or you have questions about whether you hold your tongue properly or not, your dentist in Boerne can help. Schedule an appointment today.