Something seemingly simple as “pangingilo” should not be taken for granted.
Pangingilo or sensitive teeth, which is often characterized by a short and sharp pain that one experiences from taking hot or cold food, may actually be a sign that certain areas of the teeth have already become vulnerable.
“Tooth sensitivity is very common, yet many do not know the signs. Worse, some actually choose to dismiss them. Even the occasional pangingilo is a sign of sensitivity, which means that the teeth have vulnerable areas,” said Dr. Angie De Castro, a noted dental practitioner.
In the Philippines, this occurrence is highly prevalent with as many as 8 out of 10 Filipinos said to be suffering from sensitive teeth, according to Project Omnibus 2011.
According to the website WebMD, sensitive teeth “occur when the underlying layer of your teeth—the dentin—becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue, the protective blanket that covers the tooth roots.”
“The roots, which are not covered by hard enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth’s nerve center or the pulp. These dentinal tubules or channels allow the stimuli—for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food—to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel,” the website explained.
Factors that may lead to sensitive teeth, the website further stated, included brushing too hard, tooth decay near the gum line, recession of the gums, gum disease (gingivitis), chipped or broken teeth, teeth grinding, tooth whitening products, age (tooth sensitivity reportedly highest between the ages of 25 and 30), plaque buildup, mouthwash use and acidic foods.
To reduce or prevent tooth sensitivity, WebMD recommends several simple steps that one can undertake to avoid the pain. These included maintaining good oral hygiene, using a soft bristled toothbrush and using desensitizing toothpaste and fluoridated dental products.
In the Philippines, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare has the new Sensodyne Repair and Protect toothpaste—the first daily fluoride toothpaste from Sensodyne which contains the advanced Novamin technology.
Novamin is a clinically proven patented formula that seeks out and attaches to areas of teeth that are sensitive. Sensodyne Repair and Protect helps repair sensitive areas, using minerals that are the natural building blocks of teeth.
“Chemically, Novamin is an amorphous structure that consists solely of elements found in the body—silicon, calcium, sodium, phosphorous and oxygen. This forms a mineral matrix on surfaces such as bone and teeth that can repair previous damage, and protect it from future deterioration,” Dr. Castro explained.
“Novamin has a long history of safety and efficiency, and has been clinically proven to provide relief and daily protection for sensitive teeth,” she further said.
Barbie Dapul, head of marketing of GSK Consumer Healthcare, stressed that by using Sensodyne Repair and Protect as a regular toothpaste twice daily will help to continually repair and protect sensitive areas of your teeth.