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What Is Tooth Sensitivity? What Is The Best Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth?
Do you feel pain in your teeth when you sip hot coffee or eat ice cream? Does the mere act of flossing or brushing give you an unpleasant, tingling feeling? You might be suffering from tooth sensitivity. One in five people suffer from this condition, with the highest number of cases occurring between ages 25 and 30 years.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
The teeth is covered by a layer of hard enamel. Underneath it is the porous dentin that is made up of small openings called channels. Inside every channel is a nerve that comes from the tooth pulp. When the dentin loses its covering and becomes exposed, it can cause discomfort and hypersensitivity when you eat and drink cold, hot, sweet or sour foods. Even brushing and flossing can be painful. Here are the most common causes of tooth decay.
• Brushing too hard – Over time, overzealous brushing can lead to gum recession and root exposure. The tooth roots can also become exposed when you brush incorrectly or use a hard-bristled toothbrush.
• Damaged tooth enamel – The tooth enamel can wear away with age, or because of certain factors like overzealous brushing and high exposure to acidic foods.
• Dental work – Tooth sensitivity can happen following dental work, although it is usually temporary and should disappear after a few weeks. Examples of these dental procedures include crown placement, teeth cleaning, and tooth restoration.
• Excessive acidic food intake – Consuming acidic food items and beverages can cause the enamel to erode, which increases the chances of developing sensitivity.
• Gum disease – If the tissue in the gums are inflamed, it cannot protect the tooth roots. Gum disease can progress and destroy the surrounding bone and tissues, and expose the teeth roots.
• Irregular flossing – When you do not floss regularly, plaque can buildup which leads to receding gums, gum disease, tooth sensitivity and sore gums. Eight percent of sensitivity starts at the gum line, so flossing is crucial to a healthier smile.
• Teeth grinding – Grinding the teeth can cause damage to the enamel, exposing the dentin and making it more prone to sensitivity and decay.
• Teeth whitening – Whiter teeth might improve your appearance and boost your confidence, but using teeth whitening products more frequently than the recommendation of the manufacturer can give rise to sensitive teeth.
• Tooth decay – Tooth sensitivity can be an early sign of cavity. A cavity is a way to expose the nerves in the center of the tooth.
• Toothbrush type – Dental professionals recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. They are gentle on the gums and prevent long-term damage to the enamel.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
To help reduce tooth sensitivity, your dentist may recommend an over-the-counter toothpaste for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes work by covering exposed desensitizing the nerve endings or covering exposed channels. They also contain fluoride, which strengthens the tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. If you are looking to get one for yourself, here are a few tips to help you pick a good toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
• Active ingredients – Look at the packaging of the toothpaste and check if it is indicated for sensitive teeth.
• Brand or manufacturer – As much as possible, go with a brand that is well-known and trusted.
• ADA Seal of Approval – Choose a toothpaste that features the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval.
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, it would probably best to start using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. The right toothpaste can stop tooth sensitivity and keep it from interfering with your oral health. Talk to your dentist about your tooth sensitivity issues and the right products to help you deal with it.
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