Tooth sensitivity is a condition that can be caused by many reasons.
While the vast majority of people will experience this condition at some point in their lives, some people develop a chronic condition that causes them ongoing discomfort and makes enjoying certain foods difficult.
Thankfully, there are toothpastes that can help treat this condition so that the pain and irritation are lessened. With the best sensitive toothpaste, the twinges of pain and irritation can become a thing of the past.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
One of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity is worn enamel. The enamel is the hard layer of tooth tissue on the outside of the tooth. This tissue helps to protect the tooth so that it is not damaged during chewing and biting. The enamel also protects the tooth from decay by shielding it.
Unfortunately, the foods people eat cause acid to build up on the teeth and break down the enamel. Over time, microscopic openings can develop in the enamel and lead to pain. These openings cause the nerve to be exposed which can lead to painful twinges when eating sweets, cold foods, or hot foods.
It is important that people who are suffering from this painful condition use the best sensitive toothpaste possible so that their enamel can be made stronger and their pain can be relieved.
How Does Sensitive Toothpaste Work?
There are three types of sensitive toothpaste, and they work in different ways.
- The first type helps to numb the teeth with potassium nitrate. This is an ingredient that immediately begins to ease the pain that increased sensitivity causes. When this paste is used at least twice a day, it can help to keep the pain away.
- There are also calcium-based pastes that can provide immediate relief, and these allow for a more natural treatment.
- Another type of toothpaste work to plug the microscopic holes that develop in the teeth. These openings can occur because of worn enamel, harsh brushing, and due to ageing. Pastes that plug these holes feature an active ingredient called strontium chloride. As a person continues to use the paste, their sensitivity is dramatically decreased.
What Should People Look For?
When shopping for the best toothpaste for sensitive gums, there are a few key areas to look for to ensure the paste will be effective.
Sensitive toothpaste is often sold under the name “Desensitizing”. Many dentists recommend their patients to start off by trying calcium-based pastes because they offer immediate relief from the painful twinges. Immediate relief pastes will often encourage people to stick with the treatment so that they can find lasting relief.
Potassium nitrate toothpaste is the most popular type of paste for sensitivity and has been around the longest. It is important to note this type of toothpaste can take two to four weeks to reach its maximum effect, which makes it important to stick with the commitment to brushing twice a day. Though the pain will not disappear right away, the level of relief slowly builds until it reaches its maximum level of effectiveness.
Today, there is a new and better solution for providing immediate and ongoing relief. Calcium-based toothpaste can be infused with arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that is found in the saliva. This paste mimics the body’s natural processes which work to remineralize the enamel and protect it.
This paste works in two phases: first, it provides calcium to help stop the pain immediately and then the holes are plugged with calcium phosphate so the dentin is no longer exposed.
Which Brands Offer the Best Results?
The best brand for potassium nitrate toothpaste is Sensodyne. This toothpaste needs to be used twice a day, every day, for the best results. Many people do not get the results they are hoping for simply because they do not give the paste enough time to work. Using the paste faithfully for four weeks will allow a person to know whether or not it will work for them.
The best brands of calcium-based paste are Colgate Pro-Argin Sensitive Pro-Relief and Elmex Sensitive Professional Toothpaste. Both of these are made by Colgate, though the Pro-Argin paste is not as readily available as the Elmex paste due to U.S Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) still reviewing the product.
There is also a milk protein based toothpaste with calcium ions called MI Paste and MI Paste Plus. This is a stickier toothpaste so it clings to the teeth. Instead of only brushing the teeth with this paste, you can apply it directly to the teeth with your fingers.
Tips for Using Sensitive Toothpaste
Not only is it important to choose the best toothpaste for sensitive gums, but it is also important that you know how to use the paste properly. Many people use it in a wrong way causing them to miss out on true relief from their pain.
When using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, you should simply brush as normal. Instead of rinsing just after brushing, dentists recommend their patients to leave the toothpaste in place and only spit. Leaving the toothpaste in place for thirty seconds to a minute will allow the minerals to go to work on improving the pain and remineralizing the openings in the enamel.
It is important a person does not eat or drink for thirty minutes after they have brushed their teeth so the minerals are not washed away with acidic saliva and food.
It is important people are proactive and do all they can to protect their teeth from erosions caused by improper brushing technique and acidic foods. Brushing gently after each meal can go a long way towards protecting the enamel of the teeth so that no openings develop.
It is also important a person does not use a whitening toothpaste since it can be abrasive and cause problems with increased sensitivity.
Once a person develops sensitive teeth, they need to find a toothpaste that contains desensitizers such as potassium nitrate, calcium, and strontium chloride.
If one brand is used for the recommended time and you don’t find relief, consider switching brands until you find the one that brings you true relief from the pain and sensitivity.
Using the right paste and technique can make a big difference in how your teeth feel!