If you have sensitive teeth, you are probably used to making a lot of sacrifices. Refusing ice cream, ordering iced tea without ice, and drinking lukewarm coffee are just a few of the common adaptations people make. Fortunately, there is help. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth, either alone or in tandem with other treatments, can be a big part of the solution. Here’s how and why.
The medical name for sensitive teeth is dentin hypersensitivity. Dentin is the soft material inside your teeth, which is packed with nerve endings. It is normally protected by the hard outer layer, known as enamel. When enamel is missing, though, everything you eat or drink can touch the dentin, irritating the nerves and causing intense but short-lived pain. Dentin hypersensitivity is the tendency to frequently experience this irritation.
The most likely causes of dentin hypersensitivity are advanced tooth decay, gum disease, leaking fillings, or a cracked tooth, so it is important to have a dental checkup if dentin hypersensitivity lasts for more than a few days. It can also be brought on by certain dental procedures, so switch to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth and avoid extreme food and beverage temperatures for a few days. Let your dentist know if it persists.
In many cases, though, the cause of dentin hypersensitivity is not clear. Brushing with whitening toothpaste, eating a highly acidic diet, and brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush have all been implicated in some cases. For many people, though, their teeth are just sensitive, similar to how many people have sensitive skin. Your dentist can help you manage the problem through a combination of specially-formulated toothpaste, mouth rinses, and other solutions.
Choosing a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
For mild to moderate sensitivity, a toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be enough to manage the symptoms. This type of toothpaste is formulated with ingredients that block the exposed nerve endings. This reduces or eliminates dentin hypersensitivity regardless of the underlying cause. For best results, use the toothpaste for at least one month. Some people use this type of toothpaste for a lifetime. Be sure to choose a toothpaste that is high in fluoride, as this will strengthen and protect your teeth, further reducing sensitivity.
Sensitive teeth are a surprisingly widespread problem. Many cases are due to an underlying dental problem that can be successfully treated, but quite a few cases have no specific identifiable cause. Fortunately, toothpaste for sensitive teeth can go a long way toward reducing or eliminating dentin hypersensitivity. If yours persists, your dentist can prescribe further treatments to help you manage your condition. With proper care, there is no reason for you to be doomed to a life of tepid soup and melted frozen desserts.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.