Harsh brushing wears away the tooth enamel, and exposes the dentin layer that contains the nerve fibers. As a result, when something hot or cold, or sweets and acidic foods are consumed, one can experience sudden intense pain. Gum recession can also expose the root of a tooth, and make it more sensitive. Apart from these, some other important causes of tooth sensitivity are, erosion or the loss of tooth enamel caused by acidic foods, gum diseases or a buildup of plaque and tartar, teeth bleaching, tooth grinding or clenching, and a cracked tooth.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Tooth sensitivity is quite a common problem among a large section of the population, due to which, a great many dental care products have been developed over the years. The first toothpaste developed for sensitive teeth was ‘Sensodyne’. Denquel is another leading brand that produces toothpastes for sensitive teeth. Nowadays, a number of different toothpastes are available that can relieve the symptoms of tooth sensitivity. These toothpastes basically contain potassium nitrate and strontium chloride, that can restore the tooth enamel or prevent its further erosion.
How Does It Work?
As mentioned already, a toothpaste specifically manufactured for sensitive teeth contains potassium nitrate and strontium chloride. Potassium nitrate is a salt that desensitizes the nerve roots, and thereby prevents the transmission of the pain stimuli to the pulp and the root of the tooth. As the pain signal does not reach the root of the tooth, tooth sensitivity gets reduced.
On the other hand, strontium chloride helps cover up the tiny pores present on the dentin layer, so that the pain stimuli cannot reach the nerves. So, both the ingredients help relieve the symptoms of tooth sensitivity by desensitizing the nerves, and building up a protective barrier on the dentin layer.
Making Toothpastes at Home
You can also prepare a natural toothpaste at home by using ingredients, like vegetable glycerin, peppermint or spearmint oil, cosmetic clay, tincture of myrrh, and clove essential oil.
First, take about ½ cup of vegetable glycerin (base), and an equal amount of cosmetic clay (mild abrasive). Then add 4 to 5 drops of peppermint or spearmint oil, 7 to 8 drops of clove essential oil, and 35 to 40 drops of tincture of myrrh. Now, mix all the ingredients thoroughly to make a natural toothpaste. This toothpaste can be stored in a bottle for future use.
The vegetable glycerin included in the toothpaste serves as a base, while the cosmetic clay works as a mild abrasive. On the other hand, clove oil works as a mild anesthetic that can reduce tooth sensitivity, while the tincture of myrrh is quite effective in preventing gum inflammation. Peppermint and spearmint are mainly used to eliminate bad breath.
Along with using a good quality toothpaste, be sure to maintain proper oral hygiene, in order to prevent tooth and gum diseases. Always use a soft brush for brushing your teeth twice daily. While brushing, use circular movements instead of side to side brushing. Be sure to not use old and worn out toothbrushes. In fact, a single toothbrush should not be used for more than 3 months. A fluoride rinse or a fluoride toothpaste can also help reduce tooth sensitivity. Lastly, never forget to visit your dentist at regular intervals to assess the overall condition of your teeth and gums. This would help detect a problem in the early stage and address it promptly.