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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!

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 for 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 products 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 awhile, 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

2

Sensodyne Repair and Protect

Almost 0 — except very cold or acidic beverages

1

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 seals 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.

No

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.

No

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.

Yes

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.

Yes

Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive

Xylitol, lactoferin, and calcite

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

No

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:

Toothpaste

  • 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.

Brushing

  • 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.

Flossing

  • 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:

Toothpaste

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

Brushing

  • 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)

X

X

 

 

Painkillers

 

X

 

 

Dr. Collins Restore Toothpaste

 

 

X

X

Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste

 

 

X

 

Zila Prodentec Rotadent ToothBrush

 

 

X

X

Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser

 

 

X

 

MI Paste

 

 

X

X

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), lactoferin (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 for teeth sensitivity, and in most of the 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 are 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 a 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 be 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 awhile 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.