Hi, my name is Jessica, and I’m a hygienist, and also the patient coordinator here at Dr. Antolak’s office, the Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, Michigan. I’m here today to talk about a common dental problem, which is sensitive teeth. There are many reasons why people have sensitive teeth. It could be because of decay or many other reasons. And until you come in for an exam with Dr. Antolak, we will not know the exact reason. I’m here today to talk about dentin hypersensitivity. You might have seen it on a commercial on TV. But if not, I’m here to explain what it is.
It is a tooth problem that can affect over 40 million adults in the U.S. It usually affects people ages 20 to 49. But it can also affect teenagers and also older adults. It’s caused by loss of enamel that shows the underlying layer in the tooth called dentin. And, here I have the diagram. This is what a tooth looks like on the inside. A cross-section of a tooth. Here this white part that you can see when you see your teeth right here, is the enamel. Which you’re pretty familiar with, and also, it’s one of the strongest substances in the body. Underneath the enamel is the dentin, this yellow color, orange color right here. It is a very softer substance than the enamel. Underneath the dentine is where the nerves and blood vessels lie.
So, dentin hypersensitivity occurs if you have receding gums or a loss of enamel. And, the reason you experience a sensitivity is because, in the dentin, are tubules and so, if something that’s hot or cold, acidic, any other stimulus, hits the dentin, it’s more than likely to make an impulse that’s going to excite the nerves in the tooth. And you’ll get sensitive or painful teeth.
So what can you do if you do have this problem? We have many options here at Dr. Antolak’s office. One thing we might recommend for you is a tooth paste that contains potassium nitrate which is found in sensodyne or other sensitive toothpaste.
What potassium nitrate does, is it blocks the nerve impulse. So that will decrease sensitivity that you might experience. We also have a new product here at our office called MI Paste. It’s a milk based product that contains calcium. So if you’re allergic to milk, you cannot use this. It reminds me, actually of a yogurt. And it helps to remineralize your teeth.
Call us at our office at 586-247-3500 or visit our website at thegentledentist.com