Good oral hygiene helps keep your teeth healthy. But if you avoid your favorite hot or cold foods because of sensitive teeth, adding a toothpaste with the right ingredients to your oral care routine can help ease the discomfort and allow us to finally enjoy that tub of ice cream!
Causes of sensitive teeth
So what are the causes of sensitive teeth? In the center of each tooth we find the pulp, soft and full of nerves, covered with a layer of dentin. Above the dentin are the enamel, which covers the portion of the tooth above the gumline, and the cement, which lines the roots of the tooth. Enamel and cement protect the inside of the tooth, but when the nerves in the pulp erode or break they are no longer protected from the temperature changes that occur in the oral cavity – that’s what sensitive teeth depend on.
Although some people have naturally thin enamel, there are other causes that lead to enamel erosion or breakage:
- Aggressive brushing
- Using a stiff bristled toothbrush
- Consumption of strongly acidic foods and drinks
- Teeth grinding
- Gingival recession
- Some dental procedures such as teeth whitening (this effect is temporary)
The ingredients of toothpaste for sensitive teeth
Depending on the cause of your sensitive teeth, brushing your teeth regularly with a mild toothpaste may be enough.
The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth contain ingredients that help strengthen tooth enamel and protect nerves from the discomfort often caused by hot and cold foods. Here are some ingredients that can be found in the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth:
Arginine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in saliva. When combined with calcium, arginine creates a protective layer that seals and blocks the open dentinal tubules – the part of the tooth that lies beneath the enamel and cement. This protective pad can withstand exposure to acids, giving longer relief from tooth sensitivity.
This ingredient is not found in regular toothpastes, but is a unique compound found in toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Potassium nitrate blocks pathways from the tooth surface to the inner pulp, protecting the tooth’s nerves and desensitizing them effectively to reduce discomfort. However, it takes several uses before you start to feel the difference.
Fluoride strengthens weak or eroded enamel and helps prevent the first signs of tooth decay. Most over-the-counter toothpastes contain fluoride, but you can ask your dentist / hygienist for a highly concentrated fluoride toothpaste, which can help with sensitive teeth. Many gel products contain a small percentage of stannous fluoride. Others contain sodium fluoride; To help relieve pain from sensitive teeth, your dentist / hygienist may recommend either type of fluoride toothpaste.
Choose a toothpaste for sensitive teeth
Toothpaste for sensitive teeth are formulated specifically for this type of problem. Ingredients include Potassium Nitrate or Stannous Fluoride, which help reduce sensitivity by minimizing or eliminating the hassles of brushing.
There are two main ways to avoid the pain of tooth sensitivity: by numbing the nerves or by blocking the holes in the tubules. The following ingredients have proven very effective in treating sensitivity for many people.
Read Also: Red spots on roof of mouth
Potassium acts on the nerve’s synapses, anesthetizing it and preventing it from transferring the pain signal across the synapse, thereby preventing pain. It does not offer immediate relief, nor does it cure the underlying causes of a developing sensitivity.
Stannous fluoride complex
Another solution to treat sensitive teeth is the use of a toothpaste with the stannous fluoride complex. A highly recommended Stannous Fluoride Toothpaste, Pro-Expert Professional Protection, is made by Oral-B and you can find it at your pharmacy. Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste with Stannous Fluoride helps block tubule holes, preventing sensitivity pain and allowing you to enjoy food and drink without any discomfort. Furthermore, the stannous fluoride complex prevents some of the main causes of sensitivity development.
Toothpaste for sensitive teeth can also have other benefits, such as whitening action. Many whitening toothpastes, such as Oral-B Pro-Expert Gentle Whitening for Sensitive Teeth, are also meant for sensitive teeth. Additionally, some electric toothbrushes may be equipped with functions for sensitive teeth to be combined with a matching toothpaste of your choice. These combinable options for sensitive teeth will allow you to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, while maintaining good oral hygiene.
Taking care of sensitive teeth
The pangs of pain with every sip of a cold drink can become a distant memory. To do this, you will need to brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste for sensitive teeth and a soft-bristled toothbrush – as long as you are always gentle! By making these small changes to your oral health, you can be free from pain in a few weeks.