Many people experience sensitive teeth overtime. Tooth sensitivity is a frequent dental concern, caused by exposed dentin, which is the inner layer of tooth structure. Dentin Hypersensitivity is most commonly associated with root exposure and areas where enamel is worn. Most people notice this sensitivity when enjoying cold drinks. Other triggers include; breathing in cold air, brushing teeth, and some foods. When the dentin is exposed, the outside trigger stimulates the nerves inside the tooth, resulting in a short, sharp pain.
What can you do about this? I would start by changing your daily toothpaste to Sensodyne toothpaste. Sensodyne is OTC toothpaste that can be used at home in place of your daily toothpaste. In simple words, sensodyne works by filling in the exposed dentin tubules and desensitizes them. It usually takes about two weeks to notice results. There are two different sensodyne products I recommend depending on your symptoms; Sensodyne and Sensodyne Pro-enamel.
Sensodyne: * Relieves sensitivity
- Short, Sharp Pain in response to tactile or thermal stimulants
- Gingival Recession leading to exposed dentin
- Changes in behavior to avoid discomfort – example includes: avoiding eating hot, cold or sweet items
When you are at the store or online you will notice there are many different Senodyne formulas on the market. I have included the descriptions to help you purchase the right one for you.
- Sensodyne with Potassium nitrate works to soothe the nerve inside the tooth
- Sensodyne Repair & Protect and Complete Protection has stannous fluoride which helps build a reparative layer over the exposed dentin to create a barrier against the outside triggers.
Pro-Enamel: * Strengthen & Protect enamel
- Changes in tooth structure (rounded edges, dullness, yellowing or translucency)
- An increased intake of dietary acids (including: some fruits, fruit juices, carbonated drinks, black coffee, tea, red wine and anything else that tastes sharp, like ketchup & salad dressing)
- If you get cold sores or mouthsores – this toothpaste is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free
- Strengthens weakened enamel
- Limits enamel erosion during tooth brushing, due to its low abrasiveness
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity I would always encourage you to discuss with your dentist to make sure no other specific treatment needs are necessary. It’s important to also know that tooth whitening can also cause sensitivity which is different from Dentin Hypersensitivity. If you are having sensitivity from bleaching your teeth or from using whitening toothpaste discusses this with your dentist for more specific recommendations.