Are your teeth overly sensitive? Do hot or cold foods cause serious pain and discomfort in your mouth? If so, you may be suffering from a breakdown in enamel. Your teeth's enamel works to protect the teeth from various dangers, such as extreme heat or cold. When your enamel breaks down, the tooth's root is exposed, which can lead to the extreme pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the pain. Try implementing a few of these steps to see if they work for you:

Change your brushing habits. Enamel loss often happens during brushing. The act of rubbing a toothbrush vigorously over your teeth causes enamel to wear away. There are a few things you can do to reverse the breakdown. First, try using a softer approach when brushing. You don't have to apply substantial force to get a good brush. Also, use a softer toothbrush and try special sensitivity toothpaste that's meant to restore enamel.

Finally, take extra care if you have receding gums. Your gums have an element called cementum that's meant to protect the tooth's root. If your gums are exposed, you're likely wearing away the cementum, which is exposing the tooth root to substantial discomfort. Use caution when brushing around your gums.

Avoid acidic foods. Food and drinks with high acid content can cause a further breakdown in your enamel. These foods include things like red wine, soda, oranges, and pickles. The acid from those foods attacks the enamel on your teeth and exacerbates its breakdown. If you must eat these types of foods, try to brush your teeth with enamel-building toothpaste no more than 20 minutes after your meal.

Ask your dentist for help. For most people, a mix of better brushing habits and diet changes is enough to stop the sensitivity issues. However, if that doesn't do it, you may need help from your dentist. He or she can apply desensitizing agents on your teeth. These include things like fluoride varnish and plastic resins. These agents usually wear down over time, so they have to be periodically reapplied. If receding gums are the cause of your discomfort, the dentist like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA may be able to do a tissue graft to repair the damage. However, that can be a costly and painful procedure, so it's important that you're absolutely sure that the gums are the problem before going through with a graft. The last thing you want is to go through the procedure and then discover that your teeth are still sensitive.

Talk to your dentist about other remedies. He or she may be able to recommend a special toothpaste and toothbrush to address the issue.