There’s one sure-fire way to reduce the sensitivity of teeth. My dentist specifically recommended Sensodyne toothpaste, and it works great! Simply switching to a different brand of toothpaste may seem like too easy of a fix, but there’s several that are formulated especially for sensitive teeth. And they do a great job of eliminating most of the sensitivity.
Here’s how it works. The sensitivity actually isn’t caused by the teeth themselves, but by the fact that the gums gradually pull away from teeth over the course of a lifetime. Later in life, this can eventually expose the roots of teeth, which have less protective enamel than those hard surfaces above the gum line. Cold (or hot) temperatures are much more easily perceived by the roots of the teeth – and this creates the illusion that the teeth have suddenly become more sensitive!
The chemicals in a special toothpaste actually work their way in between the surface of the tooth and nerve endings that are registering the hot or cold sensations. While the sensitivity isn’t harmful, it’s a very annoying sensation, so the toothpaste simply stops the nerve from feeling it. The temperatures are still there in the mouth, but they’re not being detected by the roots of the teeth! It’s a surprisingly simple solution – and as someone who’s tried it, I can report that it really works!
The manufacturers of Sensodyne also make a special version of Aquafresh toothpaste which is formulated for sensitive teeth. Both toothpastes have an additional foaming gel which they claim makes the toothpaste spread more evenly throughout the mouth, thus insuring that penetrates to all the areas of the mouth which could be experiencing sensitivity. I’ve also seen other web sites that recommended special mouthwashes to treat tooth sensitivity, while there’s some web sites that suggest regular mouthwashes like Listerine could actually help cause of tooth sensitivity.
Obviously the best way to avoid tooth sensitivity altogether is to take good care of your teeth. (This means getting regular dental cleans, at least once every six months, so your dentist can scrape off the plaque which would irritate the gums, making them pull away from those hard tooth surfaces.) Once the gums have started to pull back, there’s not much will make them return to their original position. So at that point, it’s just a question of blocking the “sensitivity” symptoms by using a special toothpaste…