How Does Sensitive Toothpaste Work?

Do you know how does sensitive toothpaste work? If you’re dealing with sensitive teeth, then you know how much it impacts your daily life. We here at Beautisdom are here to help.

From the beverages you drink to the foods you eat to living with a less than pearly white smile because you’re avoiding tooth whitening products that could worsen your tooth sensitivity, many of your small daily decisions and some larger life-enhancing decisions are influenced by the sensitivity of your teeth.

If you are considering a sensitive toothpaste to help improve and abate the overall sensitivity of your teeth, knowing the reasons why a sensitive toothpaste might help to reverse the effects of tooth sensitivity while making your smile more beautiful is a great starting point.

But before you consider purchasing a sensitive toothpaste, take a moment to learn what tooth sensitivity is and some of the underlying reasons that cause it.

Knowing the reasons why you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity can help you make the best choices to improve both the health and the beauty of your smile.

What is Tooth Sensitivity?

Your teeth spend a lifetime biting, cutting, and grinding your food, and the tough, protective outer layer of your teeth – the enamel – protects your teeth from damage as well as protects the sensitive nerve endings located within the interior layer, known as dentin, of your teeth.

As your tooth enamel wears away, dentin is exposed and the small series of tiny tubes that feed information from the surface of your teeth to nerve endings deep within your teeth are gradually exposed.

As different stimuli gather on the surface of your teeth where the enamel has eroded, information travels through the now exposed tiny tubes, known as dentinal tubules, to the nerve endings and those nerve endings respond, causing tooth sensitivity that can be from mild to agonizing.

Tooth sensitivity varies from person to person and can range from mere discomfort to severe pain as your teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures or even to foods with that are high in sugar or acidic and sour as mentioned on WebMD.

Tooth sensitivity can also worsen over time as your tooth enamel further deteriorates.

Also Read: What is the Abrasive in Toothpaste?

What Are the Biggest Causes of Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity caused by the erosion of your tooth enamel happens for different reasons, and can also be impacted by your personal genetic makeup as well as your age and stage of life.

Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity are:

1. Brushing your teeth too hard or brushing your teeth and gums incorrectly.

While you may love the sensation of a squeaky clean, minty mouth, if you are brushing your teeth with too much force, or with a brush whose bristles are too hard and too stiff, you may be doing damage to the enamel of your teeth which can lead to tooth sensitivity over time.

You also may be damaging your gum tissue if you brush incorrectly; this may expose the roots of your teeth and lead to gum recession, both of which the American Dental Association note as causes for tooth sensitivity.

sensitive teeth
By Mike Pham [ CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)], via Flickr

2. Tooth decay and underlying periodontal disease.

Sugar, candy, sweetened soda, and carbs are tasty to you, but they’re also a feast for the bacteria in your mouth.

Over time, the bacteria can cause pockets of decay on your teeth are known as cavities.

Cavities may require fillings to prevent further decay, and the fillings themselves may become spots of greater tooth sensitivity. Decay along your gum line at the roots of your teeth can be the precursor to periodontal disease.

Both scenarios can cause tooth sensitivity as tooth enamel is destroyed by decay and tooth dentin is now exposed.

3. Tooth whitening products

Your smile may look dazzling after trying that at-home whitening kit or even after using a toothpaste specifically formulated to help whiten your teeth. But if you notice greater tooth sensitivity as well as a whiter smile, your whitening products may be to blame.

Often the sensitivity decreases within a few days, but it may linger for longer and you may need to ditch the at-home kits and visit your dentist to discuss safer whitening procedures that reduce the risk of increasing your tooth sensitivity.

What is Sensitive Toothpaste?

If you’ve experienced tooth sensitivity and have discussed it with your dentist or dental hygienist, they may have suggested that you try sensitive toothpaste to help alleviate your symptoms.

There are many different brands and types of sensitive toothpaste, from over-the-counter formulas to stronger prescription versions.

Related: How to Strengthen Sensitive Teeth?

Also called “de-sensitizing” toothpaste

Sensitive toothpaste contains an active ingredient – potassium nitrate or strontium chloride as detailed in this WebMD article – which reduces the ability of the sensitivity trigger (hot or cold beverages, sticky food, sugary food, cold air) to reach the nerve on the interior of your tooth by creating a barrier between the sensitivity stimulus and the small tubes within the dentin of your tooth. Those small tubes, known as dentinal tubules, are what carry the information from the stimulus to the nerve; those tubules are exposed once your tooth enamel has deteriorated. Some sensitive toothpaste formulas also offer re-mineralizing agents to help restore tooth enamel and reverse the process of tooth enamel loss.

Those small tubes, known as dentinal tubules, are what carry the information from the stimulus to the nerve; those tubules are exposed once your tooth enamel has deteriorated. Some sensitive toothpaste formulas also offer re-mineralizing agents to help restore tooth enamel and reverse the process of tooth enamel loss.

Some sensitive toothpaste formulas also offer re-mineralizing agents to help restore tooth enamel and reverse the process of tooth enamel loss.

Sensitive toothpaste can be a great first step

If you are dealing with the unpleasant effects of tooth sensitivity. As with any oral health care concern, be sure to seek the professional opinion of your dentist or your physician for your tooth sensitivity and follow their care instructions and recommendations.

Having the facts on tooth sensitivity and sensitive toothpaste can help you let your true beauty shine as you can know let your newly found wisdom inform your beauty and let the beauty of what you now know be what you do.

If you are dealing with the unpleasant effects of tooth sensitivity. As with any oral health care concern, be sure to seek the professional opinion of your dentist or your physician for your tooth sensitivity and follow their care instructions and recommendations.

Having the facts on tooth sensitivity and sensitive toothpaste can help you let your true beauty shine as you can know let your newly found wisdom inform your beauty and let the beauty of what you now know be what you do.

We hope you enjoyed reading about how does sensitive toothpaste work. Feel free to share your thoughts with us.