When you have sensitive teeth, eating or drinking cold or hot things can be very difficult. The pain can come on quickly and leave you regretting even trying to eat something that isn't room temperature. If you have this problem, you might consider getting a sensitivity toothpaste to help dull the pain. If you're curious about the efficacy of these products, here's what you need to know.
How Sensitivity Toothpaste Works
While a tooth might look completely flat at surface level, in reality, teeth are actually porous. This means that when the enamel weakens, the porous nature of the tooth can allow pain signals to occur quite readily.
Sensitivity toothpaste is designed to help plug up these pores. It prevents sensitivity by creating a sort of blockage in the pore that prevents your nerves from becoming overly stimulated and creating a pain signal. There's nothing dangerous about using sensitivity toothpaste, but it may not be the long-term solution you're looking for.
What It Can't Do
Sensitivity toothpaste can't repair damaged teeth, and it can't restore lost enamel. If you've only recently started to have pain or have been trying to ignore it for a long time, chances are your teeth are in need of some professional help. Unfortunately, using a sensitivity toothpaste at home and avoiding the dentist's office won't make your condition get any better. In fact, over time, it could get worse, as once the enamel has worn away it's much easier to continue doing damage to the softer surfaces of your teeth.
Using sensitivity toothpaste in the short term, while waiting to see a dentist, is a great idea. It can help to reduce your discomfort and sensitivity on a daily basis.
When you go to see a dentist, they'll take a closer look at your teeth through visual examination and, potentially, an x-ray. This will help the dentist to figure out what parts of your teeth are damaged.
In some cases, enamel can be restored at a dentist's office. If that's not possible, but the damage is minor, using a dental filling to restore the surface of the tooth is often a possibility. However, if the damage has gone very deep in the tooth, more care may be necessary. Using a crown or veneer may also be a must in order to prevent further damage to the tooth in these situations.
If you're tired of your teeth hurting, don't look to your local store shelves for a permanent solution. Grab a tube of sensitivity toothpaste and get on the phone to give your local dentist a call while you're at it.
For more information, you will want to contact a professional, such as Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.