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When to Use Sensodyne Toothpaste

Sensodyne toothpaste helps if you have sensitive teeth from a receding gumline.  It is not helpful for teeth that have a cavity or tooth abscess.  Sensodyne works best for teeth that are sensitive to cold, touch or brushing near the gums.

When  gums recede, the roots of teeth are exposed.

Because roots don't have enamel protecting them, they can be sensitive.

Another cause of sensitive teeth is abfraction.

Abfractions are small notches or grooves at the gumline commonly caused by clenching or grinding.

Either of these conditions can cause your teeth to be sensitive to cold, sweets or being touched...or you can have abfraction or receded gums without tooth sensitivity.

If you have any of these tooth troubles, it is good to find out what is causing them so they don't progress.

Toothpastes and other products can help if your teeth are sensitive, your dentist can help determine if you need treatment rather than toothpaste.

Your choices

Sensodyne is not the only product for tooth sensitivity. 

The key toothpaste ingredients for sensitivity are:

  • potassium nitrate
  • fluoride ion

Some other sensitive toothpaste brands and their active ingredients are:

  • Crest sensitivity maximum strength - potassium nitrate
  • Crest pro-health - fluoride ion
  • Crest pro-health sensitivity - potassium nitrate and fluoride ion
  • Colgate sensitive enamel protect - potassium nitrate and fluoride ion
  • Aquafresh sensitive maximum strength - potassium nitrate
  • Arm and Hammer sensitive (baking soda toothpaste) potassium nitrate

More details

Sensitive toothpastes have to be used for at least 2 weeks before noticing improvement.

Fluoride also improves tooth sensitivity. Using ACT Mouthwash or Colgate Prevident is another way to improve sensitive teeth.

If you have sensitive teeth be sure to have a dental check up. Some tooth sensitivity indicates a dental problem that requires treatment. Sensitive toothpaste or fluoride probably wont help if you have:

  • tooth pain when biting
  • sensitivity to hot things
  • a tooth that hurts spontaneously
  • teeth that ache and don't recover quickly

These are all good reasons to see your dentist.

You may need more than toothpaste...

If you have sensitive teeth from receded gums, abfraction, or erosion, you might need more than just sensitive toothpaste. Some tooth abfractions and erosions can be repaired with a tooth colored filling.

Repairing them prevents further damage and makes them less sensitive...They look prettier too:)

Both receded gumline and abfraction can be caused by clenching and grinding your teeth and made worse by brushing too hard or using an abrasive toothpaste. 

Read more about Receding Gums and Tooth Abfractions.

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