Dentist Questions Tooth sensitivity

How effective are sensitivity toothpastes in treating the problem?

I have seen a lot of commercials that talk about sensitivity toothpastes and how they help in treating tooth sensitivity. Do they really work?

18 Answers


We have seen patients that responds well with sensitivity toothpastes. Please consult with a dental professional that can determine the best treatment or toothpaste that works best with your needs.

Thank you for your question.

Sensitive tooth pastes do not usually make a difference for the average person. However, sensitive toothpastes do work for some people that suffer from sensitivity while brushing their teeth. Figuring this out is a bit of a process though. Sometimes one sensitive toothpaste will work for one person with sensitive teeth, but it will not work so great for another person. That person might get much better relief from a different sensitive toothpaste. My wife for example: she used to use Sensodyne, but has found much better relief with Colgate's sensitive toothpaste.
Hope this helps.

My best to you!

William F. Scott IV, DMD
Sensitivity tooth pastes work quite well. It will take a few days for the special tooth pastes to work. As long as the tooth paste is used, the sensitivity will be gone.
This all depends on what is causing the problem. If you have erosion/abrasion at the gum line then these dentifrices are quite effective. If you are grinding your teeth, then they aren't.
Often times these work well. It depends on the cause of your sensitivity and the severity of the sensitivity as to what works best. The best results that I have noted are from daily use of Act restoring mouthrinse and use of a fluoridated toothpaste with potassium nitrate.
Yes, they are effective two ways. First the sensitivity toothpaste work by blocking painful stimuli such as cold air, certain liquids and foods from reaching vulnerable nerves by putting a protective barrier over the tooth or teeth. Second, is chemically the sensitive toothpaste numb the pain associated with tooth sensitivity.
Depends on the source of the sensitivity. If due to recession of gum and bone with root exposure, the strontium fluoride in the paste may help to desensitize, but requires continual use for comfort. I recommend burnishing the paste onto sensitive areas with a Q-tip and not rinsing for most effective treatment.
The truth is and you can take this to the bank it's not even necessary to use toothpaste and a brush if you properly floss. All the toothpaste provides is a visual medium for you to keep track of anything you've missed. You could use soap if you wanted to or baking soda but the general idea is the repetition and effectiveness of your Technique so have your hygienist check it next time you're in the office for a routine 6 month check-up
In some cases, they do. It depends on the root of the problem.
Sensitivity toothpastes generally work well. You need to brush thoroughly with them, preferably twice a day, at least 2-3 minutes each time. It sometimes helps to rub a little toothpaste into whichever teeth are sensitive just before bed, then spit out, but don't rinse, and just go to bed so the paste has all night to just work its way into the teeth. It may take a couple of weeks to really work, and if one doesn't work for you, look at the active ingredient and find a different toothpaste with a different active ingredient.
For minor sensitivity, these toothpastes can be very effective. However, if the sensitivity is constant and/or severe, you may need a more professional approach. In the office, there are a number of non-invasive procedures we can perform to eliminate sensitivities once the cause is diagnosed.
Very likely it would help.
They do help if after flossing and brushing you take a little bit and massage it to the areas that are sensitive and don’t rinse or drink. Leave it.
My personal opinion is that they do not help very much but they do not make the problem worse. Many toothpastes, especially tartar control and sensitive toothpastes, can increase sensitivity. Sensitivity in general is more of a nuisance than a real problem although sometimes it can be caused by cavities or cracks in your teeth. If you were not seeing a dentist, you should go to make sure that your teeth are OK.
Most work to some degree, some better than others. The ones with Potassium Nitrate seem to do a slightly better job. However, they work over a period of time. Anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. Do not expect instant results.
They do work in some cases. It is better than nothing at all
Depending on the cause of the sensitivity. If the tooth is sound and no decay in it, then it will help. If the tooth has filling or inlay or onlay or any kind of adjustment, in this case, it might or might not work. The cause of the problem should be treated by redoing the filling or sometime covering an exposed service.
Yes, these sensitivity toothpastes do work. However, they will only work if tooth decay is NOT the cause of the pain. Toothpastes can take up to two weeks to be effective. If there is no relief in two weeks, seek the care of a dentist for a proper evaluation of the pain.