When it comes to teeth, there's a lot of talk about enamel and why we should protect it, but you never really know why. Is it to keep your teeth shiny and white? Is it to prevent cavities? Both of these answers are YES, but there's an even more important answer: If you don't take care of your enamel, your dentin will become exposed.
If enamel is the star of the show, dentin is the supporting actor. Located beneath your enamel, dentin consists of a sensitive layer of living tissue and tubules that communicate with the nerve of your teeth. When your gums recede and dentin becomes exposed, things that never hurt your teeth before may feel very painful. That's because the dentinal tubules are allowing things like hot soup or cold ice cream to directly stimulate the nerve in your tooth, which results in the shooting pain we call tooth sensitivity.
Now that you know, don't forget about your dentin! Take care of your enamel by brushing gently, avoiding acidic foods and preventing dry mouth and you will save your dentin.