sensitive teeth

Sensitive teeth? Check your toothpaste

  Some patients may experience dentinal hypersensitivity when using tartar-control toothpaste, reports the Academy of General Dentistry, but the good news is that when they stop using the toothpaste, the sensitivity goes away.

“Dentists and hygienists often recommend that patients use tartar control toothpaste, particularly after a cleaning, to help prevent the build up of tartar, a mineralized plaque, which can lead to gum disease.” says Dr. William Kuttler, spokesdentist for the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education. “But after using tartar control toothpaste, about 10 to 20 percent of patients complain of tooth sensitivity, so we suggest they stop using it.”

“For those with tooth sensitivity, the recommendation is to avoid tartar-control toothpaste containing 5 percent pyrophosphate as the active ingredient and use a regular fluoride toothpaste instead,” says Dr. Kuttler. “But for those who do not have sensitivity, tartar control toothpaste tremendously reduces the build-up of tartar. However, check with your dentist. You may not need a tartar-control paste.”

Hypersensitivity affects 40 million adults in the United States and 10 million are considered to be chronically affected.