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Why Are My Teeth Sensitive To Sugar?

If you’ve ever munched on a spoonful of ice cream or a piece of chewy chocolate and felt like your teeth were on fire, you know what we’re talking about. That stinging, tingling feeling results from sensitivity to sweets, also called tooth sensitivity.

It’s not uncommon, and it affects millions of people. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), about one in five adults is experiencing teeth sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, even mild stimuli like hot or cold drinks, spicy foods, or sweets can cause pain and lead to chewing problems.

This article explains why we get sensitive teeth, their symptoms, and how to ease them naturally without spending money on unique solutions.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is the sensation or feeling that something is brushing against your teeth, even when there is nothing. This can be caused by various factors, including acid erosion and damage to tooth enamel, plaque buildup, or a change in the pH of your saliva.

The most common cause of sensitivity is the formation of dental cavities, also called cavities or tooth decay. Cavities are caused by the bacterial breakdown of sugars in food and drinks, which produces acids that damage tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity.

What's Sugar Sensitivity?

Sugar sensitivity occurs when bacteria in your mouth break down the sugar in your diet, producing acid that can irritate the gums and teeth. Even sugar-free chewing gums and sugarless candies can cause tooth sensitivity.

Sugar sensitivity occurs when your saliva cannot lessen the acid produced by the bacteria that break down sugars in food. The bacteria that cause tooth decay are naturally present in all mouths, so sensitivity may occur once you eat sugary food and it comes in contact with your damaged enamel or gums. 

Factors Causing Tooth Sensitivity

Dental Cavities

As mentioned above, tooth sensitivity is often caused by dental cavities or tooth decay. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria in your mouth use sugar as an energy source, and the waste product of this process is acid.

When this acid comes in contact with your teeth, it lowers its pH from the natural pH of around 7 to a lower pH of 5. This lower pH can dissolve minerals in your teeth, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

If the process continues long enough, it can dissolve the tooth itself, creating a hole visible as a white spot or discoloration. When this happens, it can cause tooth sensitivity.

Gum Disease

If your gums are inflamed and irritated, they can cause your teeth to feel sensitive when food comes in contact with them.

Other Health Conditions

If you have an underlying medical condition like a digestive disorder or are taking certain medications, you might be more susceptible to experiencing tooth sensitivity.

Why Do We Get Sensitive Teeth?

If tooth sensitivity results from low pH, then the easiest way to prevent and treat the sensitivity would be to increase the pH. Your saliva naturally has a pH above seven and can help to neutralize acids and prevent tooth decay.

However, people with low saliva production or those who regularly consume sugary foods or drinks may experience tooth sensitivity. That’s because regular consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks will affect your saliva from neutralizing the acid.

This leads to the acid damaging your teeth and causing tooth sensitivity.

How To Deal With Tooth Sensitivity

There are a few ways that you can deal with tooth sensitivity. If you think it’s caused by excess sugar in your diet, try cutting back on sugary or starchy foods like bread, rice, and pasta. 

You can also try to increase your salivary production. Salivary flow naturally slows down as we age, as does the rate at which our bodies break down sugars. You can help your mouth make more saliva by chewing gum, drinking water, or sucking on a lemon.

Lastly, you can choose toothpaste and dental products that help protect your teeth from sensitivity by increasing your mouth's pH.

Tips To Manage Teeth Sensitivity

Stay On Top Of Your Regular Dental Visits

Regular dental visits and cleanings are essential for preventing tooth sensitivity. Your dentist can advise you on brushing and flossing correctly, well-timed dental sealants for children, and regular fluoride treatments for adults. 

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

You can’t control what happens inside your mouth, but you can control what goes into it. Consuming fewer sugary foods and drinks can help reduce your dental cavities and tooth sensitivity risk.

Choose a Sensitivity-Friendly Toothpaste

Choosing a sensitivity-friendly toothpaste or dental product can protect your teeth from tooth sensitivity. A few options are available to protect against tooth sensitivity, such as baking soda toothpaste.

If you’re regularly dealing with tooth sensitivity, you may want to consult your dentist to see if they recommend a different oral hygiene routine.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive To Sugar?

Sugar is edible and essential to our health, but it can wreak havoc on your teeth. For some people, eating sugar causes their teeth to be susceptible to damage and pain. If you’re one of these people, it’s a good idea to be more mindful of your sugar intake.

People with teeth sensitive to sugar may have damaged enamel. When tooth enamel erodes, teeth become more sensitive to temperatures and sweets. Your tooth may also feel jagged and rough. Therefore, it's easier for the nerves around your teeth to be irritated, which causes sharp and dull pain when eating or drinking. 

Visit Your Dentist At Al Care Dental So You Can Enjoy Your Treats

Al Care Dental is a friendly, joy-filled general and cosmetic dental practice in Leduc, Alberta. We provide a full range of services and offer evening and weekend hours.

When you visit a dentist, you should try to relax. You can take a bath or a shower before going in. That way, you will be more comfortable when dentists work on your teeth.

When you meet with the dentist for the first time, it is always good to introduce yourself and tell them why you are there. Be honest about any concerns that you have about your teeth. This will help the dentist work on keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

If you are nervous about visiting a dentist, do not worry. When you are at Al Care Dental Clinic, we take care of your needs so that you can sit back and enjoy your treats.

We look forward to giving you the best smile in town, so book an appointment with us now! For more information about our office, click here.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at (780) 986-9857 or email us at [email protected].


Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of people. It is usually caused by dental cavities and can be easily prevented and treated by reducing sugar intake and using sensitivity-friendly dental products.

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth can help keep them clean and healthy. It would be best to visit the dentist for a cleaning at least twice a year to keep your whole mouth healthy and strong. 

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