Perhaps you’ve noticed that your teeth have started to feel sensitive, causing you to wince from time to time or even causing actual pain. Knowing the best toothpaste to use can help prevent a painful brushing experience while helping keep your smile in tip-top shape. Follow along as we discuss the causes of sensitive teeth, when to visit the dentist and how to deal with the problem at home. We’ll also reveal our five picks of the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth. So, let’s jump in and get started.
What are sensitive teeth?
Having tooth sensitivity can mean a slight twinge that happens now and again or severe discomfort lasting several hours. Who has sensitive teeth?
Research shows that 44% of Australian households contain someone who suffers from sensitive teeth or gums. In a recent study, almost 61% of those suffering from sensitivity were female, and the age group most commonly affected were 30 to 49-year-olds.
How do I know I have sensitive teeth?
You may find yourself going ‘ouch’ when:
- eating food that is very sweet or sour
- biting down on something
- eating ice cream or having a hot drink
- an ache or discomfort persists after the initial twinges
Even breathing in cold air can cause you to wince! If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, whether mild or significant, it’s best to visit a dentist who can help relieve the pain and get to the bottom of what’s causing it.
How to know when to visit the dentist?
If you’ve had to avoid certain foods, reach for pain killers, and the pain is ongoing, it’s best to visit a dentist for a thorough examination. While there are several things you can do to relieve pain from sensitive teeth, it’s essential to know what’s behind it. Your dentist can check for gum disease, a cavity or an abscess that could be causing the sensitivity and discuss the best way forward.
Why do teeth become sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity results from nerve irritation. Worn or thin tooth enamel or receding gums expose thousands of microscopic channels leading to the centre of the tooth’s nerve system. When the teeth contact hot or cold temperatures, sensations are transmitted via those channels to the nerve, causing pain. The good news is that tooth sensitivity is common and can be treated.
How does sensitivity happen?
It could be any of the following:
- Brushing too hard – Try switching to a soft bristle toothbrush and avoid overzealous brushing
- Gum disease – Your sensitive teeth could result from a deeper problem like gingivitis.
- Teeth grinding – If you suffer from bruxism, it’s a good idea to invest in a nightguard to protect teeth and prevent them from becoming sore or sensitive
- Acidic foods – While oranges and tomatoes are healthy, too many of these acidic foods can erode tooth enamel exposing the teeth to sensitivity and pain. Try eating a piece of cheese afterwards to neutralise the acid.
- Toothpaste and whiteners – While everyone wants a glowing white smile, whitening toothpaste can be abrasive, and overuse could damage the tooth enamel. Hydrogen peroxide in teeth whiteners can also cause temporary tooth sensitivity.
- Cracked teeth and cavities – These can expose nerves, causing considerable pain. This is why it’s so important to schedule regular dental check-ups.
Once the dentist has found the cause of the sensitivity pain, there are things they can do to relieve the discomfort, including:
- fluoride gel
- fillings to cover exposed tooth roots
- custom nightguard if you suffer from bruxism
- desensitising paste (not used with a toothbrush) prescribed by a dentist
Meanwhile, here’s our top pick of toothpaste for sensitive teeth (not in any particular order) that you can buy and try at home.
The Best Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth – 5 Top Choices
Sensodyne Sensitive Teeth Pain Repair & Protect Whitening Toothpaste 100g
Sensodyne is a well-known reputable brand that manages sensitivity pain with regular use. While it won’t eradicate the pain in one brushing, repeated use of Sensodyne toothpaste will gradually ease the dull ache of sensitive teeth. Most people can expect long-lasting relief from tooth sensitivity in just a few weeks. Best of all, after several weeks of use, you can also expect your teeth to appear whiter and brighter.
While there are many to choose from in the Sensodyne range, this particular toothpaste is ideal for those with persistently sensitive teeth who also want a whiter-looking smile. However, it’s not designed to repair tooth enamel or break up hardened plaque. Those with more complex dental issues like cavities or thinning enamel would be better seeking assistance from their dentist to resolve these problems first and then consider switching to Sensodyne Sensitive Teeth Pain Repair and Protect Whitening Toothpaste as their regular toothpaste.
- Trusted dental brand
- Whitens teeth with regular use
- Feels fresh and non-abrasive
- Keeps breath smelling sweet
- Slightly unpleasant aftertaste
Price – $10.49
Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair 110g
Generally, common tooth sensitivity is caused by weakened tooth enamel rather than gum disease or cavities. While many sensitive kinds of toothpaste desensitise nerve endings to simply numb the pain from sensitivity, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste works differently. Its exclusive Pro-Argin formula seals the openings to exposed nerves to give long-lasting relief from sensitivity pain. Furthermore, its Enamel Repair formula remineralises tooth enamel, making teeth more resilient to repeated acid attacks. With extended use, you should be better protected against severe pain from sugars, cold or heat and dull aching pain.
- Provides short-term and long-term pain relief
- Strengthens tooth enamel
- Is fast and effective
- No after taste
- On the expensive side RRP is $10.99
Price – $5.99
Grants of Australia Sensitive Natural Toothpaste 100g
This has to be the best natural toothpaste for sensitive teeth and is soothing and gentle when you need it most. We love that it’s an Australian product with some pretty impressive credentials being Australia’s first natural toothpaste listed with the TGA.
Potassium nitrate helps relieve the pain of sensitive teeth and gums, while the minty flavour keeps the mouth feeling clean. Grant’s natural toothpaste for sensitive teeth is suitable for ages 12-99 and is also vegan-friendly.
- Vegan friendly
- Free from preservatives
- Australian-made and owned certification
- Recyclable packaging printed with vegetable ink
- Affordable price
- Stronger flavour than some minty toothpaste
Price – $6.95
Oral B Gumcare and Enamel Restore 110g
We’ve chosen this particular toothpaste because it’s one of the few types of toothpaste that contain an active ingredient for gum disease alongside multi-purpose stannous fluoride and other ingredients to help reduce staining. Essentially, toothpaste helps reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease.
The stannous fluoride also helps manage tooth sensitivity.
- Smooth minty flavour
- Shields against acid erosion and restores weakened erosion
- Gentle anti-bacterial action on gums
- Reputable brand used by dentists
- Widely available in supermarkets
- Not suitable for children under 12
Price – $5.99
BioMin Sensitive Teeth and Remineralising Toothpaste 100g
A relative newcomer to the Australian market, it’s evident that many people consider BioMin the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth. This award-winning toothpaste was developed over ten years at Queen Mary University in London. Designed from the ground up, the toothpaste helps repair the cause of sensitive teeth, eliminating or reducing discomfort. Rather than treating the cause of sensitivity, many other products only use nerve-numbing agents. Biomin enters the tooth’s open tubule, sealing it from within to create a stronger, more resilient, acid-resistant surface. With regular use, BioMin helps the teeth appear whiter by remineralising the tooth enamel.
- Certified by the Oral Health Foundation
- Rated No.1 toothpaste and dental care product by Product Review.com.au
- 1 in 2 survey respondents said BioMin was more effective than any other toothpaste for sensitive teeth they had tried
- Gradually makes teeth look whiter and shinier
- Price is on the high side
- Not available in supermarkets
Price – $12.75
Hopefully, the above information has been helpful, but you may be wondering if tooth sensitivity can be avoided.
How to prevent sensitive teeth?
Given the most common cause of sensitive teeth is thinning enamel, there are ways to help prevent this from happening in the first place.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Do not apply too much pressure when brushing. The correct brushing technique can help you avoid sensitive teeth so ask your hygienist for some tips
- Brush teeth at least twice a day and floss once
- Visit the dentist for regular check-ups
- Limit your intake of sweet and acidic foods
- Always ask your dentist about safe home teeth whitening treatments before going ahead with the process
- If you grind your teeth, consult with your dentist
Are you suffering from sensitive teeth?
While knowing the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth will help soothe and manage pain or discomfort, it’s wise to visit a dentist for an oral examination to ascertain that no serious dental problems need attention. Why not schedule a consultation with the friendly, experienced dentists at Dental 266 by calling on 02 9051 0600 to see how we can help.
Bite Magazine – Research shows women have more sensitive teeth
Mayo Clinic – Bruxism (teeth grinding)
European Journal of Molecular and Clinical Medicine – Brushing Techniques