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Sensitivity and Sensitive Toothpaste: The Dentist Opinion


The Television Advertisements (Ads) space is swarming with various sensitive toothpaste Ads, bragging how they are advanced and why one is better than the other. Some Ads go an extra mile showing how dentists and foreign lands are prescribing sensitive toothpaste to patients and getting results successfully.

The question here is “Is dental sensitivity so generic that the remedy for it can be given as OTC (over the counter) medicines without consulting the dentists?”

To understand the answer for this we need to understand what is sensitivity and how it is caused?

The tooth made up of two hard tissues covering the nerve tissue (soft)/pulp.

Hard tissues are:

  • Enamel is translucent, shiny structure made up of hydroxyapatite crystals and is supposed to be the hardest tissue present in the entire human body, even harder than the bones.
  • Dentine is a hard tissue having sensory nerve endings of cells which makes dentine a sensitive tissue yet a very hard tissue.

Soft tissue 

  • Pulp containing the blood and nerve supply to the tooth. 

Now, Sensitivity is caused due to an opening of nerve endings in the dentine which is a bit closed to pulp/ nerve.

Till this point, Sensitivity toothpaste Ad companies show you through Ads. What they don’t tell us is, 

the type of sensitivity or the reason for open nerve endings.

There are 2 ways, how a tooth can be sensitive:

1. Normal wear and tear, also known as physiological sensitivity

Here the tooth may be sensitive due to:

  • Using a hard toothbrush and harshly brushing your tooth.
  • Overexposure of the tooth due to retraction of gum.
  • Due to gastric conditions like GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) 
  • Or maybe a cracking a tooth (cracked tooth syndrome).

2. Pathological sensitivity

This is caused when the bacteria causes cavity which reaches deep in the tooth reaching and crossing the dentine towards pulp. In this type of sensitivity, use of sensitivity toothpaste is very dangerous, as it suppresses the natural response mechanism of body i.e PAIN. When the pain/sensitivity is reduced in this condition, the patient does not visit the dentist and bacterial infection continue to grow deeper. As a result, a tooth which could have been saved by doing a filling or by preserving the vitality of tooth will progress towards either RCT or removal.


As a dentist, whenever a patient complains sensitivity we first examine and diagnose the cause of it and then guide the patient suitability. Hence, whenever anyone suffers from sensitivity must get it checked and diagnosed by a dentist and only then use the medicines.

Ads only for representation purpose point use. Don’t use Sensitivity toothpaste Ads as a reference in your sensitivity conditions.

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