31 May 22

How Does Sensitive Toothpaste Work?

Sensitive Toothpaste

If you have sensitive teeth, you probably don’t enjoy eating foods such as ice cream or drinking a hot beverage. This may be the result of the thinning of the enamel on your teeth, therefore exposing dentin. If you haven’t already done so, you should probably make a dental appointment for a consultation to address this issue. When your tooth enamel wears away and exposes the dentine this will possibly lead to tooth sensitivity.

Since sensitive teeth are quite common, so is the treatment available. Fortunately, that tooth sensitivity is easily treatable. Desensitizing toothpaste is one of the most common ways to effectively treat tooth sensitivity. After a dental exam, your dentist may recommend a desensitizing toothpaste depending on the cause.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Sensitivity is usually the occurrence of the deterioration of the tooth enamel or an exposed tooth root. Thinning or weakening tooth enamel can come from teeth grinding, decay, or erosion that has worn down the enamel. As a result of gum disease or receding gums, the root of a tooth or multiple teeth may become exposed and cause teeth to feel sensitive. 

How Does Toothpaste Help Sensitive Teeth?

The teeth contain three layers that include the enamel, dentin and pulp. The composition of dentin consists of tubules that connect to the nerve. Over time, the breakdown of enamel on teeth can expose dentin leading to sensitivity to hot and cold. The ingredients in desensitizing toothpaste decrease the fluid flow through the tubules, which in turn decreases sensitivity.

The efficiency of desensitizing toothpaste greatly depends on the ingredients inside the tube. 

The toothpaste contains an ingredient that prevents the pain in sensitive teeth from happening after encountering heat, cold, and sugar. Some of the main ingredients used in sensitive toothpaste include

    • Potassium nitrate
    • Stannous fluoride
    • Strontium chloride

With routine use of toothpaste over time, these ingredients help the nerves in your teeth develop protection against irritants like cold, heat, and sugar. With daily use of toothpaste, you will notice the effects on your sensitive teeth within a few weeks.

Are Sensitivity Toothpastes Safe?

One of the best places to determine whether an ingredient is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They maintain a database on the safety of numerous frequently used chemicals based on published scientific literature. The EWG uses a scoring system to indicate safety. 10 is the most hazardous, while 0-2 is considered the least hazardous.

Potassium nitrate received the best score from the EWG: 1 out of 10.

Stannous fluoride received the second-best score: 2 out of 10. While fluoride toothpaste is not an effective tooth strengthener, it is very effective at desensitizing teeth.

Strontium chloride received a score of 3 out of 10, which classifies it as moderately hazardous. As a result of this, it has been banned by the Japanese government for being unsafe for use in cosmetics.

If sensitivity is severe, stannous fluoride is the best option for getting relief. A toothpaste called Colgate Prevident 5000 is much better than typical desensitizing toothpaste and does require a prescription from your dentist. Unfortunately, it contains SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate), which has been linked to cancer and other toxicities. However, if you are in desperate need of relief, this is the strongest and most effective desensitizer. 

Rapid Relief Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Rapid Relief toothpaste is still new to the dentistry market but provides clinically proven relief for sensitive teeth in just a very short period. Combining this long-lasting protection with brushing twice a day, will beat sensitivity fast.

The design of the unique formula found in rapid relief toothpaste is for quick relief of sensitive teeth, with an advanced polymer system that helps activate the stannous fluoride quickly.

This polymer system creates an adhesive, that helps hold the stannous fluoride in place, preventing it from being washed away from the teeth by saliva to enable faster blockage of the exposed dentine tubules.

Whitening Sensitive Toothpaste

It can be frustrating to want to whiten your teeth but experience tooth sensitivity every time. Peroxide-free dental products may minimize sensitivity, making them a popular option for whitening sensitive teethbut usually, the results are less than desirable. 

Fortunately, there are manufacturers who have developed teeth whitening systems designed especially for patients with sensitive teeth.

Teeth Whitening and Sensitivity

Many people suffer from sensitive teeth, especially during or after dental whitening procedures. During a dental whitening procedure, this sensitivity in teeth appears as an aching sensation. Discomfort will also occur when your teeth encounter hot or cold substances. There are numerous possibilities for sensitivity, including cracked or chipped teeth, cavities, and gum disease. Bleaching sensitivity and dentin sensitivity are the two most common reasons for sensitivity in people with generally healthy teeth.

Sensitive Teeth After Whitening with Bleach

People who usually experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks because of thin enamel are more likely to experience heightened sensitivity after a dental bleaching treatment. Peroxide, in the form of gels or solutions found in dentistry, encounters the teeth during dental bleaching procedures. These peroxides permeate the tooth structure to break down and eliminate stains within the dentin.

It is common for many dental patients to experience bleaching sensitivity during this temporary process. This should disappear in a few days. Sensitivity does not necessarily indicate that your teeth are unhealthy.

Despite this, there is no clear explanation for why bleaching sensitivity occurs in patients. However, the popular belief in dentistry is that free radicals generated from peroxide may cause sensitivity as they penetrate teeth deeply into pulp tissues. In addition, certain light sources tend to increase the temperature in pulp, making the procedure more uncomfortable. 

Dentin Sensitivity After Whitening

Dentin sensitivity is another kind of sensitivity that happens when irritants encounter the parts of your tooth where sensitive dentin is exposed, whereas sensitivity after bleaching is temporary. When thin enamel results in exposed dentin, the peroxide in the dental bleaching solvent can permeate your dentin, causing sensitivity, pain, or discomfort. If teeth are already sensitive to extreme temperatures due to thin enamel, then they are more likely to endure heightened sensitivity after a bleaching session.

Another kind of sensitivity is dentin sensitivity. This is permanent, unlike bleaching sensitivity which is temporary and happens when stimuli encounter areas of your tooth that have exposed dentin. If you have thinning enamel or exposed dentin the peroxide in the bleaching treatment can enter your dentin, which can cause pain, sensitivity, or discomfort. If you usually suffer from sensitive teeth because of thin enamel, a bleaching treatment can aggravate sensitive teeth even further.

Getting Sensitive Teeth Whitened 

Even if you experience sensitivity, you can still enjoy the benefits of some teeth whitening products. You should look for a dentistry solution that is directly aimed at people who have sensitive teeth. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for you to choose from, such as professional dental teeth whitening for sensitive teeth, white strips for tooth sensitivity, teeth whitening kits for sensitivity whitening pens for sensitive teeth, and certainly toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth

Do Brands Like Sensodyne Toothpaste Really Work?

Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste provides you with fast relief, long-lasting protection, and clean, fresh breath. Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste contains a unique formula that relieves sensitivity pain in 60 seconds by creating a barrier over the sensitive areas of your teeth. Every time teeth are brushed this brings fast relief and builds continued protection. It also has the added benefit of whitening teeth and preventing stains.

Stannous fluoride or potassium nitrate found in Sensodyne toothpaste works as a protective shield for sensitive areas of the teeth as well as calming the nerves in the teeth. Stannous fluoride is a specific type of fluoride that builds a protective shield over the exposed dentin in teeth. Potassium nitrate is a mineral which soothes the nerves in sensitive teeth, blocking triggers such as hot and cold liquids, this layer provides pain relief for sensitive teeth. In every Sensodyne product, there is either sodium fluoride or stannous fluoride added to help prevent cavities through twice-daily brushing, so you can maintain healthy teeth every day.

Sensodyne products also contain fluoride to fight cavities in teeth and maintain a healthy smile. Sensodyne has several products to meet individual needs such as Rapid Relief, Whitening, Deep Clean, Repair and Protect, Complete Protection, and Sensitivity and Gum.


Parla-Pro toothpaste is an innovative toothpaste that can accomplish all of this in one small tab. The tabs are essentially dehydrated toothpaste, moulded into a small tablet. Instead of squeezing toothpaste onto a toothbrush, toothpaste tablets need to be lightly chewed to activate them and begin the frothing action. After this, the brushing begins. PÄRLA PRO toothpastes are naturally whitening and eco-friendly! Enclosed in every sustainable package are perfectly portioned tabs of paste that include safe ingredients as well as fluoride. Fluoride is essential in cavity prevention and not all toothpastes contain it.

In addition to providing excellent cavity-fighting protection, PÄRLA PRO toothpaste also takes sensitive teeth into consideration.  PÄRLA PRO toothpaste contains a wonder ingredient called hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite is a naturally occurring mineral.  When adding this ingredient to toothpaste it provides the same protection for your sensitive teeth as fluoride, but it also does more.  In addition to superb cavity protection, hydroxyapatite also remineralizes the tooth structure and there aren’t any known side effects. This strengthens enamel and forms a protective shield around open pores. It also reduces extreme temperatures from being transferred to the nerves, thereby lessening sensitivity.

Hydroxyapatite also makes up a significant portion of bones and is vital for regenerating bones and teeth. Furthermore, it has been found to strengthen bone material in osteopathy research. This method has also shown promise in orthodontic restorations. As well as strengthening enamel it also assists in remineralizing early tooth decay and combats sensitivity.

PÄRLA PRO toothpaste also has the ability to whiten your sensitive teeth at the same time, without the sensitivity experienced in other dental procedures. Hydroxyapatite is a multi-tasking ingredient that imparts a brilliant shine to the teeth and gives them a whiter, brighter appearance. With PÄRLA PRO toothpaste there is no longer a need to sit through painful and sometimes expensive whitening treatments. This tiny little tab packs a lot of power. One tab has the ability to fight cavities, whiten teeth, protect sensitive teeth, boost your immunity and protect the environment all while remaining vegan and cruelty-free.

PÄRLA PRO toothpaste is truly an all-in-one sensitive toothpaste and has all these additional benefits,

  • High-gloss teeth whitening
  • Fights sensitivity & remineralises enamel
  • Fights cavities
  • Contains vitamins E & B12 which are essential in boosting immunity
  • Easy - just Chew, Hydrate, Brush!
  • Easy to refill
  • 0% plastic waste
  • No animal testing
  • Completely vegan
  • No palm oils
  • Pre-dosed fluoride
  • Contains super ingredients

With PÄRLA PRO toothpaste there is no longer a need to sit through painful and sometimes expensive dental whitening treatments. This tiny little tab packs a lot of power. One tab has the ability to clean, whiten freshen and remineralize teeth all at the same time while being gentle on sensitive teeth.

Remineralizing teeth can heal tooth decay and prevent more from forming. Hydroxyapatite is an excellent way to accomplish this. Your teeth are able to rebuild by absorbing the hydroxyapatite. A 2019 lab study found that hydroxyapatite toothpaste had the same effect as fluoride toothpaste in preventing demineralization and remineralizing cavities earlier. Once sensitive teeth recognize this compound, they are able to absorb hydroxyapatite down into the roots. Hydroxyapatite is especially helpful when dealing with tooth decay since it can build enamel below the furthest point of decay.

The reason why most dentists emphasize the importance of fluoride is that it is one of the very few things on earth that has the capability to rebuild teeth. Unlike calcium, they believe it is resistant to acid and less likely to dissolve in the presence of acidity. Hydroxyapatite, however, is becoming increasingly recommended in the dentistry industry.

While Sensodyne is still the number one dentist recommended toothpaste for sensitive teeth, toothpastes containing hydroxyapatite are gaining traction.  More and more dentists are realizing the benefits of this wonder mineral and are, therefore starting to recommend it over traditional toothpastes for patients with sensitive teeth. The super ingredient, hydroxyapatite may change dentistry in the future.