Why are my Teeth Sensitive after Flossing?

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Sensitive teeth tend to occur when you expose your teeth to heat, cold or excessively sweet food and drinks. In most cases this is caused by the dentin becoming exposed to the elements. It is easy to know when you have sensitive teeth due to the immediate reaction you will get when facing different temperatures or certain foods. Fortunately, tooth sensitivity is a highly treatable problem and there are a wide range of options. The first step you should take is to visit your dentist, who will be able to provide an oral exam and suggest a range of treatments.

The dentin which lies below your enamel contains a variety of nerve fibres, when the dentin is exposed these are irritated by heat, cold and certain foods. This may be caused by overzealous brushing which causes the enamel to erode or may be caused by cavities, dental caries or a build up of tartar.

There are a range of products on the market which can help you deal with sensitive teeth. For instance, there are several brands of specialised toothpaste which contain potassium and can help to steadily desensitise your teeth with regular use. Similarly, many mouthwashes contain active ingredients such as fluoride which can help if your problems are caused by tooth decay. It also helps to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and to use short strokes when brushing. Brushing too hard can often contribute to enamel erosion and won't make your teeth any cleaner. It is also important to brush at least twice a day and make sure to floss. When flossing make sure to be careful when nearing the gums, use a gentle back and forth motion to prevent irritating them. Overzealous flossing can cause swollen gums and tooth sensitivity. Visit your dentist at least twice a year so that any problems which have the potential to cause tooth sensitivity can be dealt with in advance.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »