What are sensitive teeth?The part of the tooth we can see is enamel that protects the dentine underneath. If the dentine is exposed, a tooth can become sensitive. This happens in most times in the tooth area near gum where the enamel layer is much thinner. Sensitive teeth mean that you can get variety of symptoms, from a mild to severe discomfort, that can last even a couple of hours, specially during eating, drinking or breathing cold air. Sensitive teeth can also be an early warning of more serious dental problems. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time, with some times being worse than others.
Who suffers from sensitive teeth?
What are the 8 causes for sensitive teeth?
- Food and drink. External stimuli like hot, cold, sweet or acidic drinks, or foods like ice cream.
- Brushing. Applying too much pressure during brushing, using hard toothbrush, or brushing from side to side in horizontal direction can harm soft gums and cause gum recession (gums shrink back), which exposes tooth neck which is less resistant to external stimuli.
- Brushing teeth with cold water. You may need to use warm water instead. Don’t stop brushing your teeth because of sensitivity, if you do, this could make it worse.
- Dental erosion. This means loss of tooth enamel because of regularly consuption of acidic food and drinks. Denton underneath is exposed which may lead to sensitivity.
- Tooth bleaching. It can happen that some patients feel sensitivity for a short time during bleaching or afterwards for a few days.
- Build-up of dental plaque or tartar. They can cause the gum to recede and even destroy the bone. Pockets in the gums around the tooth are making the area difficult to clean and the problem worse.
- Tooth grinding. It means clenching and grinding of the teeth which causes the enamel to be worn away, making the teeth sensitive.
- A cracked tooth or filling. A crack can run from the biting surface towards the root of the tooth. Extreme temperatures, especially cold, may cause discomfort.
What is the purpose of toothpaste for sensitive teeth?
If your teeth are easily irritated by external stimuli, like hot or cold, you can ease your symptoms with toothpastes for sensitive teeth. There are many brands of toothpaste for sensitive teeth on the market. These toothpastes in most cases contain potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These chemical compounds reduce tooth sensitivity for almost 4 weeks by blocking dentinal tubules, which are special pathways in the teeth that are attached to nerve inside the tooth.
How to use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth?
You should use the toothpaste twice a day while brushing your teeth. Try to brush the sensitive tooth area for a bit longer than other areas of dental arch. Toothpastes for sensitive teeth can take from a few days to several weeks to take effect, so try to use it for at least 7 weeks in a row.