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Are Desensitizing Toothpastes Really Helpful?

May 4, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dryoungblood @ 4:54 pm
a patient suffering from oral sensitivity

Do you suffer from tooth sensitivity that makes eating and drinking most hot, cold, or sugary items an uncomfortable ordeal? Are you wondering if desensitizing toothpaste is actually an effective solution for this sensitivity? Here’s more from your trusted dentist about tooth sensitivity and some of its possible causes, along with why desensitizing toothpaste, while helpful, can’t provide as much assistance as a professional.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

Teeth sensitivity is usually the result of damage to the tooth enamel, but it can also be the result of other issues such as an exposed tooth root. Weakened or thin enamel can result from things like teeth grinding (bruxism), cavities and decay, or even abrasion that’s worn teeth down over time. Gum disease can also destroy the protective tissues surrounding tooth roots, exposing them. Even something as simple as overbrushing your teeth can lead to sensitivity. But in most cases, teeth sensitivity is a symptom of an oral health problem, rather than the issue itself, and an oral examination is generally needed to identify the root of the cause.

Are Desensitizing Toothpastes Useful for Teeth Sensitivity?

Since there are so many potential causes for tooth sensitivity, it’s common for patients to turn toward solutions like store-bought desensitizing toothpastes as possible solutions. These types of toothpaste contain ingredients that block the pain sensors in your mouth that respond to heat, cold, and sugar. Over time (usually after a few weeks of consistent use), these ingredients can help the nerves in your teeth build up a mild resistance to aggravators that cause sensitivity.

That said, not all of the ingredients used in these types of toothpaste are equally effective, and you might want to avoid products that contain strontium, as it’s been linked to negative side effects and hasn’t been fully proven to desensitize teeth. Products that contain potassium nitrate and fluoride are generally considered safe for use, though their respectful usefulness varies.

How to Address Sensitive Teeth

The bottom line is that even though desensitizing toothpaste can be effective for addressing teeth sensitivity, it still falls short of what your dentist is capable of. While it can do a lot for pain and temperature sensitivity, it can’t actually correct the dental issues that might be causing the sensitivity in the first place, such as gum disease, damaged teeth, or cavities—but your dentist can! Some possible solutions include things like fluoride treatments, gum grafts, root canals, dental bonding, and more; however, it’ll always depend on your circumstances.

If you’re having trouble eating, drinking, or going about your daily routine due to teeth sensitivity, you don’t have to needlessly endure your discomfort. Solutions like desensitizing toothpaste can provide some much-needed relief, as can a trip to your dentist’s office!

About the Practice

Family Dental Center of East Texas has proudly served families in the Center, TX area for several years. They’re thrilled to offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services that are certain to help you and your loved ones achieve stunningly bright and healthy smiles! If you have any questions about the blog or you’d like to arrange a visit for you or someone you know, feel free to contact the practice online or over the phone for additional information or assistance: (936) 427-9070.

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