What is potassium nitrate? How does it stop sensitivity?
Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound. In toothpaste, it is the anti- sensitivity active ingredient that penetrates the exposed tubules (tiny holes) of the teeth to relieve the pain from sensitive nerves inside teeth. Additionally, it is one of the ADA-approved ingredients to treat tooth hypersensitivity.
Well, what else can I say, eh? :P
Seriously. I have had a lot of sensitivity on all the teeth on the right side of my mouth for a few years now. It all started when another dentist 'recommended' replacing all of my fillings. Once he finished that, I could no longer chew on that side. Thank goodness it didn't have the same effect on the left as well.
I learned to work around it. I just chewed on the left. And I don't eat things that are harder to control, like cereal in cold milk, or gooey things like yogurt. I learned to be careful with ice cream, but no way I'm cutting that out!
I mentioned to my dentist that I'd be doing this for a while, and he told me that there really wasn't much he could do, but he did ask what sensitive toothpaste I was using. It turned out I was using another major brand that doesn't contain potassium nitrate.
Potassium nitrate is fantastic! He even suggested that I smear some toothpaste on the sensitive teeth and wait a few minutes before brushing. As I said, it's been probably six months or so, but the sensitivity hardly bothers me anymore!
If you have sensitive teeth, make sure you're using a sensitive toothpaste with potassium nitrate. It's made all the difference for me.