sensitive toothpaste on toothbrush

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: Does It Make a Difference?

Team General Dentistry

Sensitive teeth are a problem that can cut into your daily life and make eating excruciating. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist may suggest switching to a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Many manufacturers have a sensitive toothpaste that should help protect and minimize the discomfort of sensitive teeth. However, many people are not convinced that sensitive toothpaste is worth the added cost or effort. If you have sensitive teeth, here is what you need to know about sensitive toothpaste. 

They are (Mostly) the Same

One of the first things that you need to know about toothpaste, in general, is that, regardless of the brand or makeup, toothpastes are mostly the same. They all have ingredients that help remove plaque and protect teeth. In fact, there are very few differences between regular toothpaste and sensitive toothpaste. This is why you find reports of sensitive toothpaste not being worth it. A chemical analysis of the two will look very similar.

This leaves many people wondering why you should buy a sensitive toothpaste. In this case, the differences are small but can make a big difference in how the toothpaste helps you manage your dental health. By changing a few ingredients, or their portion sizes, a sensitive toothpaste can give you the relief that you need under the right conditions.

The Key Difference

The key difference between regular and sensitive toothpaste is that sensitive toothpaste has additives that help desensitize or protect the sensitive parts of your teeth. Dentin is the layer under the enamel of your teeth. As the enamel wears away, it exposes the dentin, which is sensitive to touch and temperatures. A sensitive toothpaste has more potassium nitrate in it to restore the enamel by filling it in over time. That way, it will rebuild the protective layer of your teeth so that the dentin is not exposed. 

When Sensitive Toothpaste Works

Sensitive toothpaste can help when you have holes in the enamel of your teeth. Since this exposes the sensitive dentin underneath, sensitive toothpaste can rebuild that layer to protect the dentin. In some cases, sensitive toothpaste has fewer ingredients that normally irritate exposed nerves like sugar and abrasives. This also helps avoid irritating exposed sensitive parts of your teeth. 

When Sensitive Toothpaste Doesn’t Work

Sensitive toothpaste cannot address other issues that cause tooth pain. For example, a cracked tooth will always be painful regardless of which toothpaste you use. Sensitive toothpaste cannot help with cavities, infected roots, exposed nerves, and damaged teeth. Gum disease is also a common cause of tooth pain, and sensitive toothpaste cannot cure gum disease on its own. These are all conditions that need to be treated by a dentist using a variety of other methods.

Schedule Your Next Regular Dental Visit with Us

If you have continuous tooth pain, then it is time to book an appointment with us. There may be an underlying problem that needs a more comprehensive treatment. Call Dr. Ryan Senft at 408-996-8595 in Cupertino, CA to schedule an appointment