Diet

We know that a diet high in sugar is bad for our teeth but did you know that it is also a cause of sensitive teeth? What you eat has a direct bearing on the state of your teeth and the results of this can be clearly seen over time.

Plaque

The Western diet is high in sugar which is a major contributor to tooth decay and gum disease. The sugar present in this food combines with bacteria in the mouth to form a sticky film over the teeth known as plaque.

But the bacteria in plaque help to break down food into energy which also releases acid at the same time. This acid attacks the outer layer of your teeth – or the enamel, and gradually erodes this over a period of time.

This is what we know as tooth decay. The erosion continues through the enamel and into the soft centre of the tooth where the infection is able to spread. This causes pain and swelling in the tooth and also increases its sensitivity.

Foods which cause sensitive teeth

There are certain foods and drinks which have a high sugar or acid content which are risk factors for tooth decay. These include:

  • Sweets
  • Cakes
  • Chocolate
  • Fizzy drinks such as cola
  • Pastries
  • Biscuits
  • Citrus fruit such as oranges
  • Tea

Even starchy foods such as bread contain high levels of acid which again, attack the surface of the teeth.

Most of these foods are high in saturated fat and salt as well as sugar which means that they are bad for your overall health. Limit your consumption of these risky foods and brush your teeth after each time you do.

Be careful of over consumption of ‘healthy drinks’ such as sports/energy drinks as these contain high levels of sugar which are harmful to your teeth. This also applies to flavoured mineral water and fruit juices such as orange juice.

Fruit juices are popular with many people who view them as a healthy alternative but they contain a high amount of sugar and so should be used with care.