If like many Americans you experience soreness in your teeth at times, you probably have a condition known as sensitive teeth. This often comes to light when you are drinking cold or hot beverages.

This disorder can be quite painful, and you may be looking for a way to treat it. In fact, you may see commercials for sensitive toothpaste and wonder whether it does indeed work to restore your dental comfort. Here is some information that may help you understand what this type of toothpaste does.


Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

The dental issue of sensitive teeth, or teeth that cause pain or discomfort at times, is, unfortunately, a very common problem. Patients frequently come in to see the dentists at Tribeca Dental Care for that very reason.

Many people with this condition experience it primarily when they are eating or drinking something very cold, hot, or acidic. And patients also report that they often feel tooth sensitivity when brushing or flossing their teeth as well.

Basically, tooth sensitivity occurs when the dentin, or third level of your tooth, is exposed. Dentin, which is usually protected by enamel, contains many pores that lead to sensitivity when the pores are exposed.

While enamel is a hard surface that covers your teeth, over time, it may experience erosion. This occurs due to things like too many soft drinks, gastrointestinal issues such as GERD, xerostomia (dry mouth), a diet high in sugar, genetic disposition, or medications.

In addition to worn-down tooth enamel, there are many different reasons that your teeth may be sensitive, including:
• Exposed tooth roots
• Chipped or cracked teeth
• Cavities
• Gum disease
• Malocclusion and even though toothpaste will mask the symptoms


What Does Tooth Sensitivity Feel Like?

People experience tooth sensitivity in different ways. Some patients complain of a general achiness on one or both sides of their mouths.

Other patients describe it more as a sharp pain, often at times when they do something like eat ice cream and the frigid consistency touches the inside of their mouth. And some say their teeth just plain hurt after eating or drinking.


How Can You Treat Sensitive Teeth?

There are different things you should do to alleviate or mitigate the pain caused by sensitive teeth. You should first make an appointment with your dentist for him or her to assess your teeth to be sure there is no underlying problem causing the sensitivity. Be sure to describe exactly what and where you are feeling pain or discomfort.

Your dentist is probably going to suggest that you use a toothpaste intended to treat this issue. Sensitive toothpaste contains ingredients that have been proven to target the parts of the tooth that are causing this issue.

Some products contain potassium nitrate, which enters the affected portion of your teeth and blocks the nerves that cause you pain. Using this toothpaste regularly causes a buildup of the potassium nitrate, which acts as a bank to give you relief from pain.

Other sensitive kinds of toothpaste use the compound called strontium chloride. This ingredient covers up holes in the dentin that used to be covered by the enamel that has now worn away. By plugging up the holes, you are removing the opportunity for cold, hot, or acidic beverages and food to cause you pain.

Many patients may experience immediate relief when using sensitive toothpaste, while others may need to use it for several weeks to achieve the full benefits. However, consistent use has given patients great relief from their sensitive teeth.


Contact Tribeca Dental Care Today

When you have been experiencing dental pain or discomfort as a result of your sensitive teeth, it is time to see a dentist to discuss treatment.

Contact Tribeca Dental Care today to schedule an appointment with one of our professional, knowledgeable dentists. Our staff is here to address any dental issues you may have and can get you on the path to feeling better in no time.

Image Credit: Shronosov / Getty Images

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