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Best Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: Reviews of Sensodyne, Pronamel, Colgate, Crest, and Squigle

I suffer from tooth sensitivity and have been writing online articles about issues regarding tooth health for over three years.

Learn the best toothpaste brands to use on your sensitive teeth!

Learn the best toothpaste brands to use on your sensitive teeth!

Dentine Hypersensitivity

Sensitive teeth, or dentine hypersensitivity, is a common condition that affects around 50% of the population. Using toothpaste for sensitive teeth is the best treatment for this common condition. The best brands are Sensodyne, Pronamel, Colgate, Crest, and Squigle.

Most of us have felt the throbbing pain caused by drinking a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold water. While this condition is common, and the symptoms are the same, the causes can be different. So, how can you know which product will work best for you?

Guide to Choosing Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

  1. Read my reviews about different toothpastes for sensitive teeth.
  2. Read about which products I would personally recommend.
  3. Read about the differences between toothpastes for sensitive teeth.
  4. Get an overview of common causes of tooth sensitivity.
  5. Study information about what you can do about it and how dentists treat tooth sensitivity.

Choosing the right treatment for your sensitive teeth is important because using the wrong product can be useless, or even detrimental to your teeth. Below you will find in-depth reviews on several brands of toothpaste and methods for solving your teeth sensitivity issues.

1. Reviews of Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth

When it comes to buying a new product, I tend to listen to other people's advice and check the trends, but I always do my own review. The sales numbers of a product are usually good indications of the product's position in comparison to other products. However, this is not always a perfect indicator.

Before starting on Mi Paste, I was only using sensitive toothpaste, and I started with what the dentist recommended, the Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief. After a few days, my tooth felt really great, no more sharp pain with cold water or sweets.

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief and Sensodyne Repair and Protect

After taking Colgate Sensitive for a while, I ran out of it and I had to use Crest Sensitivity. It only took a couple of days for my tooth to start to ache again. I bought the Colgate and, within a day of using it, I felt better.

Because many people recommended the Sensodyne Repair and Protect, and claimed that it is equivalent to Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, I wanted to try it. It is good, definitely better than most other products. Nevertheless, for me, Colgate was still the best product.

I compared the toothpastes in two ways: the amount of pain when drinking cold water while using the toothpaste, and the number of days with no pain after stopping using the sensitive toothpaste. On Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief my sensitivity was 0—no pain at all. I felt fine with cold beverages, hot beverages, or sweets. On Sensodyne Repair and Protect, my sensitivity was reduced to almost 0, though I would still feel some pain occasionally with very cold beverages, or very acidic liquids.

After I stopped brushing with Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, it took about two days to get back to my "regular" sensitivity. After I stopped brushing with Sensodyne Repair and Protect, it took about one day for my tooth to become sensitive again. After I stopped using any kind of toothpaste for sensitive teeth, my tooth sensitivity came back right away.

Patient Test Results

Note, I didn't test Crest Sensitivity Toothpaste the same way, but I did find that it was less effective than Colgate.

ToothpasteSensitivity While UsingDays Before Teeth Were Sensitive Again After I Stopped Using

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief

0 — no pain at all with cold or hot beverages or sweets


Sensodyne Repair and Protect

Almost 0 — except very cold or acidic beverages


Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste

I found this toothpaste on Amazon while searching for other sensitive toothpastes. At the time, I was still using Colgate, which is a great product, but it doesn't have lasting results. When you stop using it, your teeth will start hurting.

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Read More From Youmemindbody

This toothpaste, though it doesn't have the most sales, does have the best reviews of all sensitive toothpastes. That's because it's simply the best. It doesn't irritate the gums, and it has almost no taste. It is a little sweet from the xylitol, but xylitol actually protects your teeth. The calcites seal the dentin. This fixes the problem, even if only temporarily, as opposed to masking the problem by using a numbing agent.

Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth

ToothpasteActive IngredientMethod of ActionSodium Lauryl Sulfates?

Sensodyne Rapid Relief

Strontium acetate and Sodium Fluoride 0.23%

Strontium acetate replaces eroded calcium on the teeth, plugging dentin canaliculi and replacing some lost calcium. Fluoride protects against cavities.


Sensodyne Pronamel

Potassium nitrate 5%, Sodium fluoride 0.15% w/v fluoride ion

Potassium nitrate desensitizes teeth nerves, reducing or eliminating pain. Sodium fluoride protects enamel against acid erosion.


Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief

Arginine, calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate plugs the tubules in the dentin, repairing the lost calcium on the tooth. Arginine activates the bacteria that neutralizes the acid.


Crest Sensitivity

Potassium nitrate 5%, Sodium fluoride 0.24%

Potassium nitrate desensitizes the nerves in your teeth, relieving pain. Sodium fluoride protects enamel against acid erosion.


Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive

Xylitol, lactoferin, and calcite

Xylitol prevents plaque. Lactoferin is an anti-microbial. Calcite plugs open tubules.


2. The Best Products for Sensitive Teeth

I had the best results for my sensitive tooth with MI Paste. After the treatment with MI Paste, I was no longer stuck with sensitive toothpastes, though I still prefer them. I know your time is precious, so if you are only interested in buying a product to treat your sensitive teeth, here are the best products with a brief description. If you want to learn more and understand what each of the products does, as well as learn about the causes of hypersensitivity, read the rest of the article.

What Is the Best Toothpaste for Random, Temporary Sensitivity

If your teeth sensitivity is just a temporary issue and it has no underlying condition, then a toothpaste like the Sensodyne Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth, containing Potassium Nitrate is the right choice.

What to Use for Post-Whitening Sensitivity

If your teeth sensitivity is related to teeth whitening, then Sensodyne Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth is the best choice. The best method for fixing this kind of sensitivity is to start using it a few days before the whitening session. This will reduce the pain. You should also consider taking painkillers for a few days.

The Best Toothpaste for Sensitivity Due to Gum Recession

If the reason for your tooth sensitivity is the recession of the gum, your best products are all of the following used in combination:


  • Dr. Collins Restore Toothpaste contains NovaMin to restore tooth minerals and reduce hypersensitivity. Dr. Collins Restore Toothpaste is fluoride-free, remineralizes teeth, contains NovaMin to rebuild the tooth surface, strengthens teeth, and kills bacteria. It also prevents cavities and reduces tooth sensitivity. It is clinically proven to provide preventive tooth and gum care.
  • Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste is a great product. Give it a try. It contains Xylitol to inhibit plaque bacteria, soluble calcium for restoring the lost calcium, and nanosized calcite to seal the exposed dentin.


  • Zila Prodentec Rotadent ToothBrush is a very gentle electric toothbrush. It cleans your teeth perfectly while being very gentle on the enamel. It also cleans the gum pockets between the teeth, where no other toothbrush reaches.


  • Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser is the best flossing method. Use it in addition to your regular flossing. You should do this a few times per week.

Other Treatments

  • MI Paste is a treatment that helps rebuild the minerals on your teeth. It is the best product on the market.

For Sensitivity Due to Enamel Erosion

If your teeth are sensitive due to enamel erosion, the following products work best:


  • Dr. Collins Restore Toothpaste, No Fluoride, with NovaMin, to restore tooth minerals and reduce hypersensitivity.


  • Zila Prodentec Rotadent ToothBrush is a very gentle electric toothbrush like no other. It cleans perfectly without you needing to brush too hard on your sensitive teeth.

Other Treatments

  • MI Paste rebuilds the enamel. It's an absolutely great product.

Which Toothpastes You Should Use for Each Type of Tooth Sensitivity

ProductFor Random, Temporary SensitivityFor Post-Whitening SensitivityFor Sensitivity Due to Gum RecessionFor Sensitivity Due to Enamel Erosion

Sensodyne Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth (or toothpaste with potassium nitrate)










Dr. Collins Restore Toothpaste





Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste





Zila Prodentec Rotadent ToothBrush





Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser





MI Paste





3. Differences Between Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth

The best-selling sensitive toothpastes are Sensodyne, Pronamel, (also a Sensodyne product), Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief, and Crest Sensitivity. Although it's not a big player, Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive is getting only positive reviews.

Sensodyne Rapid Relief

  • Active ingredients: Strontium acetate and sodium fluoride 0.23%
  • Strontium acetate is a replacement for the eroded calcium on your teeth. It will plug the dentin canaliculi and replace some of the lost calcium. The fluoride is for protection against cavities.
  • Contains no SLSs (sodium lauryl sulfates)

Sensodyne Pronamel

  • Its active ingredients are Potassium nitrate 5%, Sodium fluoride 0.15% w/v fluoride ion.
  • Potassium nitrate desensitizes the teeth nerves, making the pain go away. Sodium fluoride protects the enamel against acid erosion.
  • Contains no SLSs (sodium lauryl sulfates)
  • The main concerns related to Sensodyne are that it contains saccharin and sorbitol, which may cause irritation to gums and tongue.

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief

  • Its active ingredients are Arginine and calcium carbonate.
  • Calcium carbonate is the compound that plugs the tubules in the dentin and repairs the lost calcium on the tooth. Arginine activates the bacteria that neutralizes the acid. It is the most natural way to relieve your pain.
  • It contains SLS.

Crest Sensitivity

  • Its active ingredients are Potassium nitrate (5%) and Sodium fluoride( 0.24%).
  • Potassium nitrate desensitizes the nerves in your teeth, relieving the pain. Sodium fluoride is the agent that protects the enamel against acid erosion.
  • It contains SLS.

Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive

  • Its active ingredients are Xylitol (to prevent plaque), lactoferrin (an antimicrobial), and calcite (to plug the open tubules).
  • It seals the dentin tubules providing protection from exposure to acid erosion.
  • It contains no SLSs.

4. Causes of Sensitive Teeth

There are many causes of teeth sensitivity, and in most cases, there is a toothpaste that will help you alleviate the pain. Sometimes teeth sensitivity is just a symptom of a more serious problem, and you may need to take other actions in order to repair your teeth. A visit to the dentist is often required.

Gingival Recession

As explained earlier, dentine hypersensitivity is caused by the exposure of the dentin to external stimuli. One of the most common causes is receded gums (gingival recession). Gum recession is caused by periodontal disease, age, or missing teeth.

When the gum recedes, the part that is usually covered by your gums is exposed to erosion factors, such as acid in food, mechanical abrasion with harder food, abrasion (with certain toothpastes), etc.

This kind of erosion is normal, and it does not affect the naturally exposed part of the tooth (the exterior part), because it is protected by enamel. This is not true for the tooth's root (the side that is under the gum). The root is covered with a thin layer of a less durable protection shield called cementum.

Cementum can be very easily removed by erosion agents and, once the cementum is gone, there is no more protection for the sensitive dentin layer. Normally, external stress factors don't reach the areas that are not covered by enamel; therefore, exposure makes them more sensitive.

If you treat the periodontal disease, the root will again be covered by gums, and will not be exposed anymore. Periodontal disease, or gingivitis, starts with random gum bleeding episodes. If you treat your gums when they start bleeding, you will prevent teeth sensitivity.

Teeth Whitening

Another cause of sensitivity is whitening your teeth. If you have recently done a whitening session, this is most likely the problem. Take painkillers and wait for a few days. The pain will eventually disappear. The pain after a whitening session disappears after a few days by itself.

Enamel Erosion

Another common cause of teeth sensitivity is the wearing down of the enamel. This can happen if your enamel is eroded by various factors, such as acidic food, the stomach acid regurgitated during nocturnal acid reflux episodes, unusual teeth brushing, (too many times, using a very hard brush, or brushing immediately after eating acidic food), or using abrasive toothpaste.

If you suspect the enamel is eroded, you will need to avoid acidic foods and drinks, or if you have them, just rinse your mouth with water. Avoid using abrasive toothpaste. Abrasive toothpaste should be used only on an as-needed basis for people who have developed tartar on their teeth. Acid reflux can be avoided by eating smaller meals, more often.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity and What Can You Do About It?

Tooth sensitivity is the popular name of a medical condition known as dentine hypersensitivity, in which moderate stress agents such as thermal stimuli, (temperature changes), chemical stimuli, (sweet or acidic substances), or tactile stimuli, (biting on foods), make your teeth hurt. When you drink hot or cold drinks or you eat sweets, your teeth or just one tooth will hurt. The pain subsides eventually, but it can be very annoying.

Teeth sensitivity is usually a symptom of another problem, and it consists of the exposure of the dentin to external thermal, chemical, or mechanical stress factors (heat, cold, acid, etc).

Dentin contains tiny channels from the surface to the tooth nerve (dentinal tubules), and any stress will be easily transmitted to the nerve, hence the sharp pain. Normally, the dentin is covered by enamel, which protects it from external factors.

What to Do for Sensitive Teeth Long-Term

If you don't have a plan done by your dentist, here is what I did to get rid of this problem.

At first, when the pain was unbearable, I started with Sensodyne Pronamel, which contains Potassium nitrate, to numb the pain. I knew that this was only part of the problem, and I made an appointment with the dentist and complained about my problem.

The dentist told me I had a little gum recession. She recommended the Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief to me as a way to rebuild the depleted cementum on the exposed side of the tooth and looked at ways to try to fix the gum recession.

In my case, because of a misaligned tooth, there was very little to be done besides complex orthodontic work. The receding gum was caused by the teeth shifting, which is a common problem with misaligned teeth. Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief was the best solution for the medium term.

After a while on Colgate, I was feeling better, but my tooth was still a little sensitive. I did some research. I talked to my dentist again and I tried a few products. The best combination for my sensitive tooth was using Squigle as my main toothpaste and MI Paste as a dental treatment.

MI Paste is very easy to use and can be applied by yourself at home. When used in tandem, the Squigle toothpaste and MI Paste are very effective. The toothpaste works on treating the receding gums, treating gum disease, and preventing acid erosion.

If you have teeth acid erosion problems caused by acid reflux, or simply because your enamel is not strong enough, the best electric toothbrush is the Zila Prodentec Rotadent. This is also a great toothbrush for treating gum disease because its fine brush filaments can reach under the gum and between the teeth to remove plaque.

Flossing can only reach between the teeth, but not in the gum pockets, where Rotadent is the best. The only other device that can reach in the gum's pockets is the Waterpik.

How Sensitive Teeth are Treated by Dentists

Other ways to treat tooth sensitivity can only be done at your dentist's office.

If you have missing teeth, the bone on the missing tooth spot will diminish, causing a gum recession. When the gum recedes, your tooth root is exposed, causing pain. As explained earlier, the root is more sensitive because it doesn't have the protecting enamel shield like the rest of the tooth has. This causes your pain.

A great way to correct this at the dentist's office is to have a tooth implant that will stimulate bone growth. The gum will slowly raise and cover the exposed root. If the tooth had been extracted a long time ago, most likely your bone has already shrunken, your teeth have shifted a lot, and you need to first straighten your teeth before having the implant.

Another solution is to have a gum graft, where some tissue is taken from your mouth, and then place it on the affected area. This creates a higher gum that will cover the exposed tooth. This is a great solution, but it is a surgery and you will have to endure the recovery period that is associated with any surgery.

Laser treatment is one of the greatest solutions for cases like these. The laser treatment collapses the dentin canals, sealing them. If the dentin canals are sealed, there will be no pain.

The simplest dentist solution is to apply a special varnish on the affected tooth or teeth, and then cure the varnish with a special device to harden it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Dorian Bodnariuc


BJ on January 29, 2019:

Hello I am starting chemo therapy soon and my oncologist suggested sensodyne but my insurance covers crest sensitive are these compatible for me

madi lion on March 12, 2018:

Hi Dorian! Thank you for this info, it is helping me on my journey to find the best solution for my teeth. I have heard lots of conflicting info regarding the use of flouride products to help strengthen enamel. What are your thoughts on using products that contain flouride? Should they be avoided? Conventional wisdom has told me that if I expose my teeth to flouride and calcium, this will help strengthen them, but it seems like not using flouride is better, and if so, why?

My main goals are to strengthen my teeth and gently whiten them, can you offer advice?

Chris on October 14, 2017:

Used Sensodyne for years, didn't help. My teeth are still sensitive. Will try Colgate and see.

highbloodwoman on December 29, 2016:

I am taking 2 medication to treat my high blood pressure. One of them is called amlodipine which works as a calcium blocker. Its effectiveness is decreased if I consume calcium of any form. The other medication is called olmetec which also interacts with calcium and potassium. And because of my high blood pressure, I have a limit of how much sodium I can eat. Which toothpaste is best for me? I am confused and lost with all these interactions/reactions.

DaisyChain from France on June 02, 2015:

Very skeptical about these expensive products, especially for older people who have lost tooth enamel but still, you have to try to the manufacturers do make a good-sounding scientific case.

TanoCalvenoa on May 27, 2014:

My wife preferred Colgate until I figured out how to make a homemade version.

buddhamind131 on December 12, 2013:

Great lens indeed! Makes the purchasing decision much easier now that I have some context for the which paste has what, etc etc. I think I'm going to try out the Squigle after this next tube is gone.

RapidWhiteSmiles on November 11, 2013:

Great lens, thanks for sharing. I'd have to say Sensodyne, I've had a few occasions where my teeth were sensitive, and Sensodyne worked for me.

FirstClassDenta on October 20, 2013:

Great lens, interesting comparisons. I recently had root canal treatment and a crown, the tooth was very sensitive to hot drinks for a while after, what worked for me was the Sensodyne Repair and Protect you mention above. From the moment I used it the sensitivity was gone and has never returned. The toothpaste did take some getting used to at first though as it had a much thicker and gooey consistency to it, but well worth it.

Dorian Bodnariuc (author) from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on September 24, 2013:

@SusanDeppner: Squigle is my number 1 favorite, and Colgate Sensitive is on the second place. Thanks for visiting.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on September 24, 2013:

I usually use soap - it gets rid of the toothpaste buildup on my teeth and makes them feel slick and actually clean - but sometimes I do like to indulge in "real" toothpaste. Since I'm sensitive to SLS and prefer not to use fluoride, I've turned to Squigle, which I like very much. Glad you've included it here. Thanks for the comparisons!

Dorian Bodnariuc (author) from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on September 24, 2013:

@mel-kav: Try Colgate, that's my favorite.

mel-kav on September 23, 2013:

Great lens. I used to use Sensodyne, but my breath never felt fresh. I use the Crest Sensitive now - I like it much better. Haven't had any problems with sensitivity since I started using it.

Dorian Bodnariuc (author) from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on September 23, 2013:

@EpicEra: Me too, if I run out of it and use regular, I have problems.

EpicEra on September 22, 2013:

I use sensitivity toothpaste daily

Anja Toetenel from The Hague, the Netherlands on August 14, 2013:

I make my own toothpaste nowadays with all natural ingredients. It works fantastic. Since I started doing that I have never had pain etc. anymore. We all have our own solutions that work best for us! I'm happy you're tooth are loving what you do :-)

anonymous on July 27, 2013:

I use Squigle and I love it. No fluoride, no flavoring and very gentle. No harmful ingredients like colgate and the other store brands

renewedfaith2day on May 15, 2013:

I have two observations. First, I really like this consumer review and comprehensive comparison. As I, along with millions of others, suffer from this condition, you have made a purchasing decision much easier and more informed. The second observation has to do with the poll listed below. While I am not "Anti-Fluoride," I do admit that I have a problem with something that you can't give to a small child. I do not see this as conspiracy paranoia as much as it is an introduction into alternative therapies when it comes to dental issues. Also, I have exceeded my "likes" today but I have visited this site and I really appreciate the information here.

srsddn lm on January 22, 2013:

As a senior citizen I use Sensodyne and find it affective.

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