Sensitive teeth can be a total drag. Just when you’re about to enjoy that (occasional) bite of cold, creamy chocolate ice cream, or your first sip of fresh-brewed coffee– it hits you. A painful “twinge” only other sufferers of sensitive teeth can truly understand.
Why so sensitive?
The phenomenon of sensitive teeth occurs because dentin— a dental layer underneath your tooth enamel– has been exposed. Dentin contains millions of microtubules that communicate with the nerve endings in your teeth, so it makes sense that your body covered it up with enamel– that’s a pretty sensitive area!
Unfortunately, dentin can be exposed– through tooth grinding (bruxism), dental caries, or gum recession. There are a variety of ways this can happen, but the end result is the same: sensitivity to extremes in temperatures. Your nerves are feeling the hot coffee or the cold ice cream, and they don’t like it.
A solution for sensitivity
Researchers want you to enjoy your morning coffee too. That’s why scientists hailing from National Taiwan University have developed a potential solution using nano-particles.
The particles, comprised of calcium carbonate mixed with phosphoric acid (both part of enamel’s natural composition) and mixed with silica, works to “plug” dentin’s exposed microtubules, thus blocking the nerves from feeling those uncomfortable temperature extremes.
In addition, the calcium and phosphoric acid help rebuild the enamel so that the cause of the sensitivity, not just the symptoms, is addressed.
Will it work?
From their current tests, researchers have found that their new nano-particle material “plugged” dentin tubules at a deeper level that sensitive teeth treatments currently on the market.
They also found that enamel growth increased using the new product, and tested to be harder than enamel regeneration that took place without the product.
So far, the researchers are very hopeful that their new findings will eventually save countless patients from the dental pain associated with sensitive teeth.
What else can we do about sensitive teeth?
Sensitive teeth aren’t just uncomfortable. They are often a sign that oral health isn’t quite what it should be. If you notice the development of sensitive teeth, that’s an important reason to visit your Tigard dental clinic and speak with Dr. Williams.
Regular oral care and appointments with Dr. Williams will also help reduce the likelihood of developing cavities, a common cause of sensitive teeth.
In addition, if you know that you grind your teeth, visit your Tigard dental clinic to talk about getting fitted for a mouthguard. Bruxism puts tremendous wear and tear on your dental enamel, and can even contribute to gum recession! Preventive care and extra preventive steps will make a big difference in avoiding sensitive teeth.