When nine out of ten adults have tooth decay to some degree, it's clear that some people really need to step up their game when it comes to oral hygiene. But you can positively say that this doesn't apply to you. You brush your teeth multiple times per day, taking care to be thorough. This is why it might be confusing when your teeth seem to be getting more and more sensitive.

Enamel Erosion

Yes, of course you need to clean your teeth. But did you ever consider that you might be brushing too often and too vigorously? Enamel erosion (when your dental enamel thins and is ultimately lost) is primarily caused by a person's diet, when the oral bacteria in the mouth interacts with the sugars and carbohydrates to create an acidic reaction which then attacks dental enamel. Although it's strong, enamel can't withstand ongoing abrasion, and your extra vigilant brushing habits may be contributing to your enamel erosion. 

Brushing Your Teeth

You should be spending around four minutes each day brushing your teeth, involving two sessions of a two-minute duration. There may not be much harm in occasionally brushing a third time each day, as needed, but anything beyond this is excessive. You must also consider the type of toothbrush you use. You might assume that the brush with the hardest bristles will be the most efficient, but it may not be the most suitable choice for your teeth. Additionally, think of the toothpaste you use. If you use a whitening toothpaste, it may contain fine granules, intended to lightly exfoliate teeth to remove surface stains. This can be abrasive, and may also be a contributing factor to enamel erosion.

Tooth Sensitivity

Enamel erosion can lead to heightened tooth sensitivity. Your enamel is necessary to protect the tooth's dentin (located directly below the enamel). This dentin has tiny canals which lead from its surface to the nerve (dental pulp) at the very centre of the tooth. Without enamel to naturally seal these canals, the tooth's nerves become quite sensitive to external stimuli, and this will only get worse without professional help.

How Your Dentist Can Help

See your dentist as soon as you can. Early-stage enamel erosion can be fairly simple to correct, and you may only need a professional fluoride treatment to remineralise your teeth. This leaves mineral deposits on your teeth, which help to seal the tiny canals in your dentin, isolating your dental pulp. You will also need to talk to your dentist about your brushing habits. Since you've been a bit overenthusiastic and haven't been using the best tools for the job, you'll need to ask your dentist about the best way to proceed. Ask them for their professional opinion about the best toothbrush for your teeth, and you might even want them to demonstrate the best brushing technique. You'll need to change your habits because once a tooth has completely lost its dental enamel, the problem is irreversible, and you'll need to have a dental restoration fitted to the tooth.

A high standard of dental hygiene is essential, but it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Contact a local dentist to learn more.