Is your Tooth Sensitive to Ice Cream? Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste Really Does Work
Teeth sensitivity is extremely common. It is the number one complaint by dental patients; approximately one in five patients suffers from sensitive teeth.
Exposed dentin, called “dentin hypersensitivity” is the main cause of sensitive teeth. Dentin is the tissue that makes up the core of each one of your teeth. Dentin has a bunch of little tunnels or channels in it which lead right down to a nerve center within.
The enamel on your teeth serves as a protective barrier for the dentin and its nerves. If your enamel begins to wear away, the nerves in the dentin are now exposed. After hot, cold, and acidic foods break through the enamel, they make their way down the channels in the dentin right to the nerve endings, resulting in sharp pain.
Although exposed dentin is a permanent condition, patients have found relief by using toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes are more than just hype, they do actually work and they work quite well.
These products contain a desensitizing agent called potassium nitrate. With continual use of the toothpaste, the product travels down those same channels in the dentin forming a protective barrier around the nerve endings.
Once this barrier is established the nerve endings are significantly less responsive to the triggers we discussed. The barrier-building process does take time however so these products must be used on a regular basis (twice daily) and it may take up to a few weeks before significant relief is felt.
In addition to the regular use of sensitive teeth toothpaste, take a look at why your enamel might be damaged or wearing away to begin with. It may just be due to age but can also result from:
-brushing too hard -gum disease-chipped or cracked teeth-clenching or grinding teeth-long term consumption of citrus or carbonated beverages-bulimia
Take extra care to protect your teeth enamel and until the toothpaste takes effect, avoid common triggers including foods and drinks that are cold, hot, or acidic (such as fruit juices and sweets). It is worth noting that cold air and teeth whitening agents can also cause sensitivity.