Dr. Kevin Nguyen is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. Nguyen posts sound dental advice on TikTok, like what to do when a tooth falls out or what bumps in your mouth could mean.
In May, the dentist got real about sensitive teeth and why sensitive toothpaste can actually be quite effective.
“If you have sensitive teeth, here’s what you need to know,” Dr. Nguyen explained in front of a green screen. “On the inside of every tooth, there’s something called the pulp. That’s where the nerves and the blood vessels are and that’s where you feel the pain.”
The pain as in when you bite into something particularly hot or cold and it throbs like the dickens.
“Usually, it’s protected by the enamel and the dentin. So what gives?” he said. “Turns out dentin is just made out of a bunch of tubes. The tubes actually connect all of the way down to the pulp. So when you have something cold, that’s why you feel pain.”
But there are ways to protect your sensitive teeth from irritation, the dentist said.
“Well, if you use sensitivity toothpaste, it actually blocks the tubes,” Dr. Nguyen said. “This reduces how much is felt by your pulp. Now you know.”
According to Healthline, sensitive teeth can be a sign of a cavity or other underlying dental issues, but some people have the issue due to thinner enamel. It can affect one or multiple teeth and is typically caused by brushing too hard, grinding your teeth or consuming acidic foods and beverages frequently.
As Dr. Nguyen said it’s always best to opt for a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth, but using an alcohol-free mouthwash and a soft-bristled toothbrush can also help.
If you’re trying to live your best, healthy life, check out Dr. Alok Patel’s tips for drinking more water each day.
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