Table of Contents
- Our Top Pick
- The Pain of Sensitivity
- Causes of Sensitive Teeth
- Primary Ingredients
- The Best Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
- Top Pick: Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste
- Runner-Up: Colgate Sensitive Complete Protection Toothpaste
- Other Competitive Products
Our Top Pick
Sensodyne Pronamel uses a unique blend of potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride to provide a fantastic solution to those struggling with sensitive teeth. In my opinion, it’s the best on the market right now. If you need help with sensitive teeth, click through to Amazon and grab this one right away!
The Pain of Sensitivity
Do ice cream and coffee sometimes make your teeth ache? Do you feel pain when you breathe in cold air? Sudden sharp pains that occur when your teeth are exposed to hot and cold temperatures might mean that you suffer from sensitive teeth. The sensitivity might also make brushing your teeth particularly painful, which is troublesome when oral care is such an important daily routine.
Don’t be discouraged because there is treatment for oral sensitivity. Luckily, you’re not doomed to avoid certain foods or wince while you brush your teeth for the rest of your life. Using special toothpastes made specifically for sensitive teeth can spare you from suffering due to discomfort and greatly minimize the issue.
Toothpastes made to soothe sensitivity problems contain a special formula. When they are used regularly, the pain is relieved and a layer of protection is built up around the teeth. This sort of daily treatment enables you to eat the foods you want and to brush your teeth without experiencing extreme discomfort.
Regular use of toothpastes for sensitive teeth will allow you to sip at your coffee without pain. Clinical trials have proven them to be effective for those who suffer with this problem.
But there are so many brands that offer desensitizing toothpastes, so which are the most effective? Rather than being confounded in the store with so many different options in front of you, compiled here are the best, most recommended toothpastes for dealing with sensitive teeth and the pain associated with it. Before we get to those however, let’s take a look at what’s going on when you experience oral sensitivity.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth
The outer layer of our teeth, the glossy white that we see when we smile, is called enamel. Some people may have a naturally thin layer of enamel. The layer of dentin underneath is exposed when enamel is worn away. This exposure causes our teeth to be more sensitive than they were before because tubules filled with nerves run through the dentin, connecting to the nerve center of the tooth, also known as the tooth’s pulp. The erosion of enamel can occur on one tooth or multiple teeth and generally leads to sensitivity.
Multiple things can cause our enamel layer to wear away: harsh chemicals in oral hygiene products, receding gums caused by periodontal diseases, smoking cigarettes, aggressive brushing, plaque build-up, tooth decay, untreated cavities, tooth whitening, or the frequent consumption of acidic foods. It is important to be mindful of all these things in order to prevent dentinal sensitivity from occurring.
Many toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is what makes toothpaste foam up in our mouth. Some people experience oral irritation and discomfort from SLS. Most toothpastes made to treat sensitivity do not contain SLS.
Sometimes you may experience several days of sensitivity after receiving fillings or a professional cleaning. This is normal and temporary. If you experience tooth sensitivity for up to three or four days straight, the Academy of General Dentistry advises that you then set up an appointment with your dentist.
There are several different ingredients a toothpaste might use to treat sensitivity. Some might work better for you than others, or produce results at a different rate, so it’s important to note which ingredients the toothpaste you purchase uses.
The first ingredient commonly used in desensitizing toothpastes is potassium nitrate. Potassium ions in the toothpaste depolarize nerve endings in dentin that have been exposed from enamel erosion, preventing pain signals from being sent to the tooth’s pulp, subsequently preventing you from feeling that discomfort. Potassium nitrate is not commonly found in regular toothpastes. It often takes up to 2-4 weeks of daily use to experience the desensitizing effects of this ingredient, so it’s important to keep up your routine and be aware of this.
Arginine and Calcium
Another common set of ingredients in products that treat tooth sensitivity is arginine and calcium. This combination remineralizes your teeth by filling the openings of exposed dentin. This process mimics the natural remineralization that occurs with the help of your saliva. Compared to the use of potassium nitrate, arginine and calcium provide instant relief from sensitivity.
Casein Phosphopeptide – Amorphous Calcium Phosphate
The ingredient casein phosphopeptide – amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) works similarly to the arginine/calcium duo. It also plugs up pores in the tooth’s dentin, thus protecting you from experiencing sharp, shooting pains. This method provides immediate results and instantaneous relief. This ingredient also contains milk proteins that help it stick to teeth, so the ingredient’s effect can last for hours throughout your day. This is especially useful when eating certain foods that can once again expose the pores in your dentin.
Toothpastes designed for those with sensitive teeth should also contain fluoride as an ingredient. The reason this ingredient is essential is that fluoride serves to strengthen the enamel on our teeth, working to prevent erosion and tooth decay from occurring in the first place. Most toothpastes in general contain fluoride, however those who suffer from extreme tooth sensitivity can talk to their dentist and receive a prescription for stannous fluoride, which is the strongest ingredient for the most severe cases.
Any desensitizing toothpaste should contain fluoride and at least one of the other ingredients described. Look for them on the box in the store before making your purchase. Considering that you do have all these options for soothing your tooth pain, which formula works the best and comes the most highly recommended for those who suffer from sensitive teeth? After looking closely at the ingredients, here’s what we think about the products.
The Best Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Below are our top picks for the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth along with the runner-up and other competitive products.
The brand best suited to addressing issues with sensitive teeth is Sensodyne. All of their products are made with sensitivity specifically in mind, making them the most recommended brand for those who suffer from sensitivity. Their effectiveness has been shown in clinical research trials.
They have many different toothpastes on the market to choose from and although they tend to be pricier than other similar products on the market (ranging up to $10 for 2 tubes of toothpaste), the effectiveness of the treatment makes it a worthwhile purchase for many.
One of the most popular toothpastes from them is Sensodyne ProNamel Gentle Whitening, which has the added effect of making your teeth whiter while also addressing your sensitivity problems.
It contains sodium fluoride so this toothpaste also offers protection against acid erosion caused by bacteria digesting sugars that might be left behind on your teeth from the food you eat throughout the day. The desensitizing aspects are cumulative, causing teeth to grow less sensitive over time with consistent daily use, thanks to the potassium nitrate ingredient.
The potassium nitrate works to depolarize the nerve endings exposed from enamel erosion, preventing you from experiencing that shooting pain associated with sensitivity, while also helping to prevent further damage with the presence of fluoride.
This product comes highly recommended among experts. Regular use of Sensodyne’s toothpastes will vastly diminish tooth sensitivity. Their products also work well for people who don’t have sensitivity problems but would like to ease some of the irritation caused by using strong teeth whitening products such as at-home whitening kits, and whitening strips.
The expert opinions, successful clinical research trials, effective ingredients and reviews lead us to name Sensodyne’s products as the best toothpastes for sensitive teeth. We chose Sensodyne’s ProNamel Gentle Whitening because it eases your pain and gradually brightens your smile over time. Check out our full review of Sensodyne Pronamel here.
Although Sensodyne is the best brand for sensitive teeth, another excellent and slightly cheaper toothpaste for sensitivity is Colgate Sensitive Complete Protection. This toothpaste also contains potassium nitrate as an ingredient, gradually building up pain resistance until it becomes comfortable to eat and drink whatever you like, as well as sodium fluoride, an essential preventative ingredient.
This product is commonly recommended by dentists and receives overwhelmingly positive feedback. It’s comparable to Sensodyne, both containing potassium nitrate and fluoride, a healthy and effective combination for sensitive teeth.
Colgate’s Sensitive Complete Protection has also been proven effective during clinical trials, making it a clear runner-up in terms of which toothpastes are the best for sensitive teeth. If you’re looking to spend a little less money, than this toothpaste is the perfect alternative to Sensodyne.
Other Competitive Products
Those are the two desensitizing toothpastes available on the market that we believe are the best for soothing pain associated with teeth sensitivity and keeping your enamel healthy, but there are more excellent desensitizing toothpastes out there.
If you don’t enjoy the taste of the products already listed, or if your local store doesn’t keep them in stock, here we have some more fantastic products that were considered. These are additional toothpastes that address the issue of sensitive teeth for your consideration.
Although it may not be sold in as many stores as our selected best toothpastes for sensitive teeth, Arm and Hammer’s Sensitive Toothpastes are effective treatments for addressing oral sensitivity issues.
They effectively remove plaque as well as desensitize teeth with the winning combination of potassium nitrate and sodium fluoride. They have two available types of sensitive toothpaste: Enamel Strengthening and Whitening Fluoride.
Here we have an effective desensitizing toothpaste that uses the ingredients arginine and calcium to plug up those exposed pores in your dentin that cause you discomfort: Colgate Pro-Argin Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste.
The arginine provides instant relief that lasts for hours, no need to wait several weeks for the desired effects. Clinically tested and proven to soothe pain immediately, regular use provides lasting relief. If you’re looking for instantaneous relief not promised by the other brands that use potassium nitrate, try out this Pro-Argin product and see how it works for you.
Another quality alternative that is great for sensitive teeth is Aquafresh Sensitive Toothpaste, which uses the ingredient potassium nitrate to soothe pain and lessen sensitivity over time, as well as sodium fluoride to protect your enamel. This toothpaste comes in two types: Smooth Mint or Maximum Strength Sensitive + Whitening.
This product is not carried in every grocery store, but if is stocked on the shelves then consider buying this toothpaste to deal with sensitive teeth. It is less abrasive than some of the other more popular brands.
If you want a great desensitizing toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride, then Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste is the best fluoride-free toothpaste for sensitive teeth available on the market. Some people have concerns that excess fluoride will weaken their teeth and don’t want it as an ingredient in their toothpastes.
After all, there is sometimes additional fluoride in the water we drink and often in the mouthwashes we use. The ingredient that serves to kill germs and freshen breath is xylitol, and this toothpaste also contains calcite, a form of calcium that will clog those exposed pores. Using this daily will provide both immediate and lasting relief.
Some issues with teeth sensitivity can only be addressed by a dentist – for instance, cavities aren’t going to be fixed with desensitizing toothpaste. However, for the most part teeth sensitivity can be greatly soothed by using the right toothpaste during your daily oral hygiene routines, which is why finding the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth is such a big deal. Brushing regularly with a toothpaste that has the right ingredients can make a huge difference in how you feel when you’re eating and drinking throughout the day, even if brushing might be initially uncomfortable.
Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently as not to irritate your gums. If sensitivity continues after several weeks of brushing with one of these toothpastes, it might be time to schedule an appointment with your dentist to see if a heavier duty prescription is required.
You don’t have to live with that sharp, shooting pain. There are many toothpastes out there that can provide both instantaneous and prolonged pain relief. The majority of the products we have named can be found in any chain store, and the ones that aren’t can be purchased online in the links provided.