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Sensitive Teeth? Avoid These 5 Habits.

If you have sensitivity, eating or drinking anything hot, cold or sweet can be unpleasant. There are many things you can do to help alleviate the stinging, tingling feeling.

Here are five things you should avoid:

1. Brushing too hard

Forceful brushing, especially with hard bristles, can create enamel erosion and cause gum tissue to recede, thereby exposing nerves and causing increased sensitivity.

What you can do: Use gentle, circular motions and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Many dentists recommend electric toothbrushes for their heavy-handed patients.

Need help shopping for an electric toothbrush? See “Electric Toothbrush Reviews” on

2. Grinding your teeth

Again, if you risk wearing down your enamel by grinding your teeth. Cracks and other damage may also occur. All of these things can cause sensitivity.

What you can do: Grinding is often the result of stress or misalignments in the teeth. Many people aren’t even aware they grind their teeth until they start having headaches and oral health problems. Work on stress management and relaxation, and be sure to discuss teeth grinding with your dentist to see if there are structural issues to be addressed. He or she will likely fit you for a mouthguard to wear while sleeping.

Visit for more information and tips related to teeth grinding

3. Allowing plaque to build up

Plaque buildup is yet another cause of sensitivity. It is also responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, which also cause—you guessed it—sensitivity.

What you can do: Brush twice a day and floss daily. Visit your dentist for regular exams and cleaning. Preventive care goes a long way in preventing plaque buildup and its harmful effects.

Check out “5 Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth” by Discovery Health

4. Using tobacco

Another culprit when it comes to wearing down enamel and causing gum lines to recede, tobacco is a common cause of tooth sensitivity.

What you can do:Quit the habit! Stop smoking. Stop chewing. If you need assistance, discuss cessation options with your health care provider or visit

Learn more about the impact of smoking and tobacco on oral health from the American Dental Association

5. Using whitening products

While the American Dental Association deems whitening products bearing its Seal of Acceptance safe, sensitivity can be a side effect for many people.

What you can do: If you use at-home whitening products, follow the instructions carefully. Although this side effect will eventually go away, you may want to stop using the product if it causes persistent and bothersome sensitivity. If you are receiving treatments at a dental office, discuss them with your provider.

For teeth whitening safety tips, read WebMD’s “The Truth About Healthy Teeth: Your Guide to At-Home Dental Care

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