Everyone loves the refreshing taste of an ice cold drink or the creamy sweetness of ice cream, but for those with sensitive teeth, these treats mean just one thing: dental pain. Right now, there are a multitude of ways teeth sensitivity can be treated, but most of them aren’t able to last that long, even those provided by your dentist. However, researchers at the American Chemical Society recently discovered that using a green tea extract could completely solve this common problem and help prevent cavities at the same time.
Why Teeth Are Sensitive
Millions of Americans are currently dealing with sensitive teeth. This is usually the result of the teeth’s outer protective layer, enamel, being worn away, which exposes the bony tissue underneath it called dentin. It actually contains microscopic hollow tubes that, when exposed to hot or cold substances, bring them right to the tooth’s delicate nerve.
In the past, using a sensitive tooth toothpaste or plugging the holes using a substance called nanohydroxyapatite where the only ways to address this issue, but neither can really stand up to the daily brushing, grinding, and erosion caused by bacteria that teeth endure every day. This problem is exactly what Cui Huang and his colleagues at the American Chemical Society were hoping to solve. They wanted to find a way to reduce sensitivity and beat oral bacteria at the same time.
The Green Tea Solution
To do this, researchers took nanohydroxyapatite and encapsulated it with a green tea polyphenol and used silica particles to hold it all together. The combination of materials, they estimated, would be able to reliably plug the holes in dentin and stand up to the bacteria in the mouth.
Testing the substance on extracted wisdom teeth, results showed that it was indeed able to plug the holes and fight off bacteria for about 96 hours as well as stand up to normal brushing and prevent the development of plaque. This shows that it will likely be able to significantly reduce teeth sensitivity and fight cavities as well. In the future, this new compound could become common both at your dentist’s office as well as the toothpaste aisle at the store.
What This Means For You
Of course, all of this is still in the experimental phase, so for now, you’ll need to rely on traditional methods to treat your sensitive teeth. Try using a sensitive tooth toothpaste, and be sure to contact your dentist if the sensitivity is severe, as it could be the sign of a much deeper dental problem.
Thankfully, dental science is always advancing, and hopefully, sensitive teeth will soon become a problem people only used to have.