How Does Desensitizing Toothpaste Work?

If you’ve ever bitten into a popsicle or ice cream and had pain shoot through your teeth you understand tooth sensitivity. The questions are why does it happen and how do you stop it from ruining your favorite frozen desert.

First the why. Your teeth are made in 3 layers. The enamel, the dentin and the pulp. Enamel is the hardest part of your body and is mostly made of minerals. It doesn’t have a blood supply and thus can’t rebuild itself. If is warn or chipped away the underlying dentin is exposed. Dentin makes up most of structure of your teeth and has microscopic tubules that run all the way down to the nerve of your tooth otherwise know as the pulp. The tooth pulp has a blood supply and nerves. This is where the cold receptors are located. When you bite into a popsicle the cold shoots down the dentin tubules and sets off some of the nerves in the pulp.

Now, how can we stop this from happening. One option is to numb the nerves. That is what Sensodyne and other desensitizing toothpastes do. They won’t fix your warn or damaged enamel, but they will numb the pain so you can enjoy your frozen treat.