What to Avoid if you Have Sensitive Teeth

Knowing what to avoid if you have sensitive teeth (clinically known as dentine hypersensitivity) is one of the best ways to avoiding oral pain and discomfort.

Sensitive teeth are a common occurrence, affecting a large number of people at some point in their lives. The symptoms can come and go, but there are many things you can do to prevent or ease the pain and avoid further corrosion.

Grinding Your Teeth

Most people grind their teeth in their sleep, often waking with a headache, earache and a sore jaw. Another knock-on effect of grinding teeth is wearing down the teeth and their enamel, which leads to increased risk of sensitivity.

Acidic Food, Drinks or Mouthwash

Acid is an obvious corrosive, and the ways that it can come into contact with your teeth and corrode tooth enamel can be surprising. Acidic food includes citrus fruits, tomatoes and vinegar. Fruit juices, wine and fizzy drinks are known for their high sugar content, but their acid content also adds to their corrosive aspect. Mouthwash is another surprisingly acidic liquid which can affect sensitive teeth. If you love fruit, juice and use mouthwash, one way to minimise the acidic damage is to drink water soon after consuming them.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux causes digestive fluid to be regurgitated from the stomach back into the mouth. Often caused by diet, indigestion or stress, the symptoms of acid reflux are commonly heartburn, constipation and nausea. On top of these symptoms, the acid that is regurgitated back into the mouth can wear down tooth enamel and make teeth more likely to be sensitive.

Hot and Cold Food and Drink

Hot and cold food and drink are one of the obvious irritants of sensitive teeth. Waiting for hot food and drink to cool down before exposing your teeth to them is one way to avoid pain. Waiting for colder food such as ice cream to melt and sipping colder drinks through a straw is another way to minimise contact with teeth.

Hard Food

Hard food can wear down enamel and make your teeth more prone to being sensitive – or make sensitive teeth react. Ice, crackers and hard sweets can cause chipping and erosion.


Sugar is top of the list of what to avoid if you have sensitive teeth – or want to keep teeth from becoming sensitive. Long known to be corrosive and damaging to enamel, sugary food and drinks only harm teeth and make sensitive teeth even more problematic.

Too Much Dental Work

Undertaking too much dental work in a short space of time can be damaging to teeth and make sensitivity worse. It’s always best to talk to your dentist to let them know if you have concerns with aggravating sensitive teeth.

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