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Why Teeth Hurt When Eating Sweets?

Oct 30, 2023Oral Hygiene

Why Teeth Hurt When Eating Sweets?

Does eating sugar cause discomfort in your teeth? Feeling sensitivity to sweets can truly be a nuisance. You might experience a tingling or ache in your teeth, or even sharp pain. The impact of sugary foods and drinks on your teeth is two-fold, as they can both harm your teeth and increase their sensitivity. Experiencing sensitivity in the teeth can also be a result of consuming sugary treats and beverages, leading to unpleasant sensations or discomfort.

Regularly consuming sugar and not taking care of your teeth can cause damage to both your teeth and gums. The accumulation of damage can cause teeth sensitivity not only towards sugar, but also towards sensations like heat or cold. Regardless of how this sensitivity manifests, it can cause a considerable amount of discomfort and stress. It’s quite possible that you’re curious as to the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity towards sugar, as well as any potential remedies to alleviate the issue.

Sweets to Avoid

Consuming sugary treats and beverages can cause discomfort in teeth that are injured or sensitive.

Here are some of the worst offenders that stand out:

  • Hard candies and cough drops: Sucking on hard candies leads to an extended presence in the oral cavity, resulting in a prolonged exposure to acidic conditions that can harm tooth enamel.
  • Gummy or sticky sweets: Gummy bears, frosting, dehydrated fruits, and even honey can easily stick to our teeth, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive and multiply.
  • Orange juice: Orange juice, despite not being perceived as a major offender, contains a considerable amount of sugar and naturally-occurring citric acid, which can contribute to tooth decay.
  • Carbonated soft drinks: Colas and other carbonated beverages are not merely loaded with sugar, they also possess acidic properties.


7 Causes of Teeth Sensitivity to Sugar

Take note if you notice a craving for sweetness after consuming a peppermint latte, diet soda, or a hidden candy treat. The probability of sweet sensitivity resolving on its own without intervention is very low. Sweet sensitivity is often linked to oral health problems or infections.

Please be aware of these common reasons for sensitive teeth as you try to identify the cause of your toothaches or the discomfort caused by eating sweets:

1. Tooth Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel can deteriorate due to factors such as acids, bacteria, and aggressive tooth brushing. The erosion of tooth enamel typically has a shiny appearance and smooth texture. At times, it can even appear more transparent as the enamel becomes thinner.

Acid reflux disease and bulimia nervosa, both eating disorders, are known to have a connection with enamel erosion.

As the enamel on our teeth erodes, it diminishes the shield that preserves our smile from the discomfort of tooth sensitivity. Teeth that have erosion are more sensitive than teeth with intact enamel.

2. Tooth Decay

If you have a toothache while eating sweets, it is likely because of a cavity. Tooth decay and sweet sensitivity are related, as the consumption of sugary foods and beverages can irritate the nerve tissues inside your tooth.

3. Gingivitis

If your gums appear swollen, red, or bleed, it is likely due to gingivitis. This condition tends to augment the sensitivity of your teeth and gums, particularly when they come into contact with objects like a toothbrush. If you have gingivitis, you may notice a red area near the affected tooth on your gums.

It is crucial to address gingivitis promptly to prevent its progression into a more severe form of gum disease. While gingivitis can be fully treated, the same cannot be said for gum disease, also known as periodontitis. If you start experiencing symptoms like gum recession, gaps between teeth, tartar buildup, and loose teeth, it’s likely that you have a periodontal infection.

4. Receding Gums

The gums, also called gingiva, provide protection for the sensitive tooth roots. The upper portion of the teeth is covered with enamel, providing a protective shield, while the roots do not have this layer. Consequently, when the gums recede and reveal the tooth roots, the permeable surfaces become highly sensitive and even cause discomfort due to the presence of delicate nerves.

Gum recession displays symptoms such as exposed tooth roots, gaps between teeth, tooth sensitivity, and tooth mobility. The term “long in the teeth” is often used, although it is not exclusively associated with aging. A periodontal screening conducted by a dentist or hygienist can reveal signs of gum detachment and the formation of pockets around infected teeth, which may indicate an infection.

5. Poor Oral Health

Improper oral care can result in the build-up of plaque around the gums, the occasional presence of tartar, and inflamed gums that may bleed. Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to the formation of plaque on teeth, which can cause bacteria to gradually erode the teeth and result in cavities. Plaque buildup can make it challenging to detect underlying decay, which can be a visibility issue.

A disclosing agent can be used to turn the plaque into shades of pink or purple, facilitating the identification of areas with a larger accumulation. The color range of plaque deposits, ranging from pale pink to deep magenta or purple, depends on the duration of buildup.

6. Medications

If you are taking a medication that causes dry mouth, you are more likely to develop new cavities and experience tooth sensitivity. Saliva serves as a natural defense mechanism against bacteria, food particles, and external factors, and can be compromised in a dry mouth condition. This can potentially risk your teeth being exposed to bacteria and sugary substances.

Dry mouth is a common side effect mentioned on the packaging of most pharmaceuticals, whether they are prescribed or available over the counter. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a commonly reported side effect of over 400 medications, especially decongestants and antihistamines.

7. Tooth-Whitening Treatments

When you use a whitening solution on your teeth, it causes the small openings known as tubules to expand all over the enamel surface. Hydrogen peroxide is present in most tooth whiteners, allowing it to seep into the outer layer and tubules of the teeth, ultimately heightening tooth sensitivity. Consequently, certain individuals may experience an elevation in tooth sensitivity beyond the usual level. During teeth whitening procedures on areas of the mouth with receding gums, it is typical for the root surface to experience increased sensitivity after the application of the whitening gel. Sensitivity usually occurs after a few initial uses and is often triggered by consuming cold or sweet substances.

Contact Our Redlands Dental Office!!

We invite you to visit our Redlands dental clinic. Our skilled professionals provide high-quality care and services. We are excited to meet you and help with all of your dental needs!

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