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Laura Dorr is the executive editor of DPR's Modern Dental Network.
How Crest Gum and Sensitivity toothpaste can help both you and your patients.
Tooth sensitivity can be a big challenge for patients during home care-and while in the dental chair. Gingivitis, gum recession and inflammation leave areas feeling sensitive, so patients avoid sore areas while brushing or flossing.
This starts a challenging cycle: As areas are missed, more plaque and tarter build up, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease, resulting in greater sensitivity. By the time a patient makes it to the dental chair, a routine cleaning could become a very painful experience.
Enter Crest Gum and Sensitivity toothpaste. Formulated with stannous fluoride to block tubules and start working immediately, the toothpaste claims to relieve sensitivity pain within days. Amy Hazlewood, BS, RDH, is a dental hygienist who has been practicing clinical hygiene for more than 35 years, and she’s excited to see such an effective product come to market.
“I think dental professionals will love Crest Gum and Sensitivity because their patients’ teeth will be less sensitive, not only at home so they can do better with their brushing and flossing, but also in the dental chair. When patients come into the dental office for their care, they will be less sensitive to the instruments, and then we can do our job in a more comfortable way for them,” Hazlewood says.
Crest Gum and Sensitivity toothpaste kills the plaque bacteria that can cause gingivitis and prevent gingival recession. Formulated with stannous fluoride, the toothpaste occludes exposed tubules and creates a shield around exposed dentin to provide relief from sensitivity. Since 80 percent of tooth sensitivity begins at the gum line due to recession, reaching below that line to combat bacteria can be critical.
“The toothpaste goes under the gum to target the bacteria that are most likely to cause gingivitis,” Hazlewood says. “So, it is very effective while still being gentler for people that have super-sensitive teeth.”
For those with sensitive taste buds as well as teeth, Crest Gum and Sensitivity toothpaste has another perk: the taste isn’t overwhelming.
“People so far love the taste, as Crest has really toned down the strong, spicy mint flavor,” Hazlewood explains. “It’s not overwhelming or off-putting for patients.”
The toothpaste is available in three versions: All-Day Protection, Refreshing Mint and Gentle Whitening, which has the added bonus of provided whitening to patients who might otherwise be too sensitive for it.
“I’ve been practicing for a few decades and I’m seeing sensitivity increase, so we’re always looking for ways to help people. Whitening or tarter control products can be a little too sensitive for some people, but this can help counteract that issue,” Hazlewood says. “This answers all of the questions or issues patients have: cavities, gum inflammation, tooth sensitivity-what more could we ask for? I haven’t seen any downsides and I can’t think of another thing Crest could have done differently with this product.”
Hazlewood is excited about the effects Crest Gum and Sensitivity toothpaste can have for patients (and practitioners) as well as the positive reinforcement it can provide for patients to encourage them to keep up with their oral health care.
“We’re always looking for new products to improve the oral health of our country. We don't want to hurt people; we want them to feel good and repeat their visits,” Hazlewood says. “I think there is no question we’ll be seeing that as an effect of this stabilized stannous.”