For the many of us who deal day in and day out with sensitive teeth, the simple joys of life (i.e. ice cream) are not so enjoyable. In fact, if you have super sensitive teeth, you might never eat ice cream. Which just sounds miserable. Though we shouldn’t include ice cream in our daily diet, every once in a while it’s a treat that hits the spot and makes us smile. However, if you suffer from sensitive teeth, the slightest temperature change or bite of food that is too acidic or too sweet can cause us to wince in pain.


Let’s quickly discuss the scientific reasoning behind sensitivity. Also known as DH, dentin hypersensitivity is the momentary sharp pain you experience when dentin – the layer of tissue underneath enamel – is exposed to stimuli (chemical, mechanical, thermal) that cause fluid to flow within dental tubules. Tubules are microscopic channels throughout dentin that radiate outward from the pulp underneath dentin to the outermost enamel. How’s that for a quick science lesson?


Wouldn’t life be a tiny bit easier if there was something out there on the marketplace that helped reduce sensitivity in teeth? Yes, it would! (Gotta love rhetorical questions). The brilliant scientists working at Crest / Oral-B invented a product called Sensi-Stop Strips. Much like Crest White Strips in their look and feel, Sensi-Stop Strips are thin and flexible to fit easily over the outer gumline of whichever sensitive tooth area you’re seeking to remedy. 


In only ten minutes, the dipotassium oxalate ingredient that comprises the desensitizing gel found on one side of the Sensi-Stop Strip builds up a protective shield. This layer of protection lasts up to one month in most cases, relieving pain caused by sensitivity via blocking dental tubules. This means that stimuli that come into contact with your enamel do not flow through into the pulp. Once stimuli reach the pulp deep within your tooth, the pain comes fast and strong.


Another method of reducing tooth sensitivity is by “painting” varnish comprised of sodium fluoride directly onto the troublesome tooth. Whereas Crest Sensi-Stop Strips can be purchased at your local drugstore, the treatment of fluoride varnish needs to be applied by a dental professional. The varnish helps strengthen enamel and dentin. 


If you are tired of dealing with dentin hypersensitivity, call Chicago’s Sugar Fix Dental Loft to figure out the root cause of your DH. They will be able to examine the state of your oral health to rule out any cavities, which might be causing the sensitivity. Gum disease might be the culprit behind your sensitivity and the team can guide you to the appropriate treatment you should receive.