If you've ever felt a painful sensation in your teeth after drinking or eating hot or cold food and beverages, you've experienced tooth sensitivity. But you're not alone. It's a condition that affects one out of every four adults, often coming and going over time.
A common cause of sensitive teeth is exposed roots due to receding gums. These roots are not covered by protective enamel. As a result, thousands of microscopic channels are exposed, leading directly into the pulp, the tooth's nerve center. When heat, cold and pressure touch these channels, they direct the sensation into the pulp and cause pain.
Ignoring hypersensitivity can lead to other oral health problems. Since exposed surfaces aren't covered by protective enamel, they are more susceptible to decay and possible tooth loss. What's more, the pain of hypersensitivity can cause you to brush poorly, putting your teeth and gums at risk.
If you have pain, let your dentist know. Usually it can be treated through the use of a brush-on prescription fluoride gel or an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. And be sure to follow proper oral care at home.
HELPING YOUR SMILE LAST A LIFETIME
BRUSH with a high-performance toothbrush, like Colgate® Total™. Use fluoride toothpaste, such as Colgate® Cavity Protection, or your dentist might recommend a toothpaste with an ingredient that reduces tooth sensitivity.
FLOSS daily with an advanced, shred-resistant floss such as Colgate® Total™.
RINSE with a fluoride mouthrinse such as Colgate® Fluorigard®.
PRESCRIPTION FLUORIDES can help strengthen roots, covering the exposed tubules and relieving the pain. There are at-home treatments available such as Colgate® Gel-Kam® Brush-On Gel. Ask your dentist.
SEE YOUR DENTIST AND HYGIENIST regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings.