Brushing twice a day makes your teeth healthier over time, but the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth can relieve discomfort in as little as two weeks. Your tooth is made up of layers of tissue that protect the nerves and root from what you eat and drink. And when the surface (also known as the enamel) is worn, a swig of your ice-cold water bottle can result in some serious pain.
Read on to learn more about what causes sensitivity and what toothpaste can do to strengthen your enamel and relieve your irritation once and for all.
Enamel is the first line of defense in protecting the nerves of your teeth, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Beneath the enamel are two other hard tissue layers: the dentin and cementum. It's the pulp at the center of the tooth that houses the nerves. Substances that reach the pulp cause the sharp sensation you may know all too well.
When you eat something sugary, the bacteria naturally occurring in your mouth erupts with an acid response that strips enamel of its minerals. During the day, saliva washes over your teeth and redeposits the minerals you lost. Even though they're tough materials, prolonged exposure to these attacks can cause the enamel and other hard tissues to break down, exposing the nerves and root.
Supporting the remineralization process ensures that your enamel is continually getting the minerals it needs to stay strong and protect the nerves. The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth reverses erosion, which means Colgate® Enamel Health™ Sensitivity Relief Toothpaste doesn't just desensitize but also replenishes natural calcium to build your enamel back up before it goes away completely.
The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth contains fluoride, which the ADA asserts is an important player during the remineralization process. Fluoride strengthens the mineral crystals being redeposited on your enamel, ensuring that they'll be harder to break down in the next acid attack. In this way, it also prevents and even reverses the early signs of tooth decay. Make sure you're using a fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated tap water throughout the day so your saliva is full of this important element.
Potassium nitrate is a key ingredient in the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth. It blocks pathways from the tooth surface to the inner pulp, protecting the tooth's nerves and, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), desensitizing them to reduce discomfort. It actually blocks sensations to the nerve, with continued use. Look for this ingredient in the toothpaste you buy.
Choosing a properly formulated toothpaste will help fight your sensitivity. If you are using the right product, you'll get relief with just a couple of weeks of continued use.