This Is Why You Should Avoid Citrus If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth is a difficult issue to get through and one that doesn't go away on its own. If you've been told to avoid certain foods and drinks and don't know why, this simple guide will help to explain why you should avoid citrus.

When Enamel Is Thin

When the enamel on your teeth is thin, the nerves are closer to the surface. This means that they can readily feel things that come into contact with them.

At this stage, citrus can cause more pain than anything else does. This is because citrus temporarily softens tooth enamel, making what little there is even more vulnerable to damage. This can result in more pain but also speed up the thinning of your enamel, which can lead to even more problems down the road.

When Enamel Is Absent

Sensitive teeth are typically sensitive because they're losing tooth enamel. This is a normal process that people go through as they age, but if you lose an abnormal amount of it, it can make your teeth sensitive and painful.

As your teeth go longer and longer without treatment, the little enamel that was protecting them will dissipate to almost nothing. At this point, citrus becomes extremely painful.

Anything coming into contact with your teeth will likely hurt at this stage, as the nerves are nearly on the surface and there's no hard layer protecting the softer layers of the teeth anymore. However, citrus is unique because it's acidic and wears away at tissue. Ever noticed how often citrus is used to marinate and tenderize meat? Imagine it tearing away at the inner soft tissues of your teeth. No wonder it hurts.

What to Do

You'll need to take steps to protect your teeth. Immediately cut citrus out of your diet for best results.

While you're in pain, you can try using a sensitive toothpaste to help reduce the discomfort you're feeling. This toothpaste helps to plug up the holes — they're like pores and naturally intended to be there — that allow your nerves to feel pain. It's not a replacement for your missing dental enamel, and it's not a cure, but it can help you to mitigate the discomfort in the short run.

In the long run, you'll need to visit a dental practice. There's no fix for damaged or lost tooth enamel other than to go to one. Rest assured that your treatment is unlikely to be painful — you're probably in more pain on a daily basis dealing with your sensitive teeth then you will be at the dentist's office.