The Real Reason Your Teeth Feel Soft

Oral health is one of the best investments a person can make, and home care options are more plentiful than ever before. With everything from specialized flossing tools and water picks to electric toothbrushes and tablet toothpaste, there is a tooth care method to suit just about every need (via Self).

Nevertheless, it's not easy to maintain a perfectly healthy smile. Busy schedules and the added sugars in foods mean that most people's teeth are exposed to things that eat away at our enamel (via Mayo Clinic). And when this starts at an early age or goes on for too long, it can leave your teeth feeling soft (via Delta Dental).

Some assume that their soft teeth are genetic. After all, they have soft teeth, and so do their parents or their grandparents. But according to Delta Dental, soft teeth are a product of lifelong habits and diet, not of genetics. These impacts start in childhood, often with the baby teeth, and continue to affect a person for the rest of their life. They are left with teeth that seem to wear down or develop issues no matter how careful they are, all because of damaged enamel.

The hard truth

Healthline explains that our teeth have four layers. The soft inner part is called the pulp. This is where the roots and nerves of the teeth are located. Cavities and cracks in the outer layers can leave this sensitive spot exposed, resulting in the tooth pain that sends people running for the dentist. Over that is the cementum, or the inner hard layer, which is covered over by dentin. This is the slightly softer layer under the enamel, which is the hard exterior surface of the tooth.

People who say they have soft teeth usually mean that their enamel is soft. Dental Associates explains that this can happen for a number of reasons ranging from chronic acid reflux to malnutrition to trauma. But both they and Delta Dental agree that bacteria is the most common cause. When we eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, it leaves sugars in our mouth that oral bacteria begins breaking down. In turn, this process creates acids that harm our tooth enamel. When the enamel gets too worn down, it leaves the tooth feeling soft. This eventually leads to cavities and other issues.

If you're concerned about your teeth, your dentist can suggest more aggressive care routines or specific products that can help reduce the amount of oral bacteria (via Healthline).