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Find out what causes sensitivity and how to manage it effectively

What is the structure of teeth?

Teeth consist of the visible crown and the root. They are formed of three distinctive structures called enamel, dentine and pulp.

Enamel covers the crown and is the hardest tissue in the body. Dentine constitutes the major part of teeth and gives them their colour. Pulp is rich in nerves and blood vessels.

What is dentine hypersensitivity?

Many adults suffer from sensitive teeth, also known as dentine hypersensitivity. This condition is most common when the root surfaces of teeth are exposed due to gum recession. The main core of the tooth consists of dentine with many tubules running from the outer edge of the tooth dentine to its inner centre, which contains the tooth nerves.

These microscopic dentine tubules contain ?uid which moves when exposed to cold, heat, touch or high sugar concentrations in the mouth. This stimulates the nerves and causes pain and discomfort.

My teeth are sometimes sensitive. Is this common?

Yes. Many adults experience occasional sensitivity to cold, sweet or hot food and beverages. The pain can be short, sharp and unexpected. The main cause of these pain sensations is exposed necks of teeth, which are more vulnerable to temperature changes. In addition, excessive acidic food and ?zzy drinks can erode the tooth surface and cause dentine hypersensitivity.

Regardless of the triggers and frequency of your pain, let your dentist or hygienist know. In the ?rst instance, they will ensure no other factors are contributing to the sensitivity and they can recommend the appropriate treatment.

How does a toothpaste help?

Open dentine tubules are the pathway to sensitive teeth. Toothpastes can help in two different ways to provide relief from sensitive teeth. These are either by numbing the tooth nerves or by blocking the open dentine tubules.
Desensitising toothpastes with potassium salts represent the most commonly available sensitive toothpastes. By brushing the teeth the potassium ions diffuse into the open dentine tubules and start numbing the nerves.
Other desensitising toothpastes achieve sensitivity relief by plugging the open dentine tubules and blocking the cause of pain sensations.

How long does it take to get relief?

Common sensitivity toothpastes, which numb the nerves with potassium salts, result in a noticeable difference after 4?8 weeks of daily use. In contrast Colgate®  Sensitive Pro-Relief? Toothpaste, which blocks open dentine tubules, not only provides Toothlasting sensitivity relief with regular brushing, but also provides instant relief.

For instant relief, the toothpaste must be applied directly to the sensitive tooth with a ?nger tip and gently massaged for one minute.

Colgate®  Sensitive Pro-Relief? Toothpaste has been developed for the daily oral care of sensitive teeth. In addition to providing lasting sensitivity relief with twice daily brushing, it contains ?uoride for  ffective cavity protection.

Introducing New Colgate® Sensitive Pro-Relief? Mouthwash

Colgate®  Sensitive Pro-Relief? Mouthwash with Pro-Argin? Mouthwash Technology is clinically proven to provide effective and lasting relief from the pain of sensitive teeth. It works by coating the channels that lead to sensitive tooth nerves, to block the pain.
With regular use, it builds a long lasting protective barrier that acts like a seal against sensitivity and provides effective and lasting relief. Colgate®  Sensitive Pro-Relief? Mouthwash is alcohol free and has a soft mint flavour.

What makes the Colgate® Sensitive Pro-Relief? range so special? Senvitive Products

Colgate®  Sensitive Pro-Relief? Toothpaste is clinically proven to provide instant* and lasting relief from the pain of sensitive teeth.

Colgate® 360° Sensitive Pro-Relief? Toothbrush with ultra soft bristles for gentle and effective cleaning is speci?cally designed for sensitive teeth.

Colgate® Sensitive Pro-Relief? Mouthwash with Pro-Argin? Mouthwash Technology is the most effective mouthwash for sensitive teeth.**

* When directly applied with ?nger tip to the sensitive tooth and gently massaged for one minute
** Boneta et al. (2009).  Data on file, Colgate-Palmolive Ltd.

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GDC websiteSite last updated:

May 2022 


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