The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth

Get the Full StoryDon't let tooth sensitivity make that hot cup of coffee or cold glass of water a misery to drink. You can treat your pain with a great toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Our top pick is Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair Toothpaste because it treats the pain and helps to repair enamel damage.

Editor's Note: The British Dental Journal has released new research that says there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove the cosmetic and health benefits of activated charcoal toothpastes and powders, and that they may cause decay.

We are doing our best to keep up with recent news as well as try each and every one of our picks for you. We'll update this article accordingly when we learn more. You can read more details in this Business Insider article that summarizes the study.

I've dealt with sensitive teeth for much of my adult life, but I can usually keep my tooth pain under control by using a toothpaste that's designed for sensitive teeth for a few weeks. These specialty toothpastes can make a huge difference in how your teeth react to extreme temperatures, which is why we've rounded up the best ones you can buy to treat your sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is usually a symptom of an underlying issue like weakened enamel, recessed gums, or cavities. So using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth is a great idea to treat the pain, but if that pain is severe, recurring, or it persists even after weeks of using these products, then you need to head to the dentist.

That said, some people just have sensitive teeth. If your teeth are prone to pain when you eat or drink hot or cold substances, or even when you suck in a breath of air on a chilly day, but you don't have cavities, then a sensitivity toothpaste that fills in the microscopic gaps in your enamel might be all you need. If you have areas of reduced enamel thickness, sensitivity toothpaste with fluoride can help.

In some cases, the toothpaste and toothbrush you're using might actually be the reason why you have sensitive teeth, so switching to a gentler toothpaste and softer toothbrush might solve the problem, too. No matter what your situation is, we've got a toothpaste for your needs in our buying guide to the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Here is the best toothpaste for sensitive teeth:

Best overall: Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair Toothpaste

Best for whitening: Sensodyne Extra Whitening Sensitivity Toothpaste

Best for weak enamel: Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste

Best natural toothpaste: Tom's of Maine Fluoride-Free Natural Sensitive Toothpaste

Best charcoal toothpaste: Dental Expert Active Whitening Charcoal Toothpaste

Prices and links are current as of 2 14 2020.The best overall


Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair Toothpaste treats the pain associated with tooth sensitivity and helps alleviate the underlying causes.

Common tooth sensitivity not caused by cavities or gum disease is usually caused by weakening tooth enamel. Whether your enamel is too thin, has small tubules that expose the underlying dentin, or is worn down in specific areas, the 1,500 PPM concentration of fluoride in Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Enamel Repair Toothpaste can help restore and reinforce tooth enamel, reducing sensitivity over the long term.

In the shorter term, this toothpaste also contains potassium nitrate, which can help relieve sensitivity in just a few weeks by filling the many microscopic channels that connect your tooth's nerve center to the exterior of the enamel. If you keep using the toothpaste even after you have gotten some relief, the fluoride can then restore the enamel. With extended use, you should be better protected against acute pain from heat, cold, or sugars, and from dull, chronic aching as well.

One thing I have to note: This toothpaste is widely available online and has a shelf life of many years, but as of now the brand is not producing new product. So I recommend you stock up, as it really does work well but may soon be scarce.

Pros: Provides short-term and long-term relief, strengthens tooth enamel, quickly effective

Cons: Rather expensive, may soon be hard to find

The best for whitening


Sensodyne Extra Whitening Sensitivity Toothpaste gives you two things that everyone appreciates a brighter smile and less pain.

I've used Sensodyne toothpaste off and on for much of the past decade, and I've always been impressed with how reliably it treats tooth pain with regular use. As expected with any sensitivity toothpaste, this toothpaste won't cure your pain in one brushing, but it will gradually ease the ache of sensitive teeth with repeated use, and in a matter of weeks many people will enjoy lasting relief.

Best of all, if you use Sensodyne Extra Whitening Sensitivity Toothpaste regularly, your teeth will also become several shades whiter.

While this toothpaste is a great choice for people with chronic tooth sensitivity who also want a brighter smile, it's not designed to repair enamel or break up and prevent tartar hardened plaque , so if you have more involved dental issues, like reduced enamel or cavities, you might want to first have these resolved with another product or with assistance from dental professionals. Then switch to Sensodyne Extra Whitening Sensitivity Toothpaste as your regular daily toothpaste.

Pros: Whitens teeth with regular use, trusted and dentist-recommended brand

Cons: Slightly unpleasant aftertaste

The best for weak enamel


If you have chronic tooth enamel issues despite good oral hygiene habits, Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste will give you a leg up over the weakened tooth surface and the resulting pain.

Some people just have weaker teeth than others. You might brush twice or even thrice daily, floss, use fluoride rinses, and dutifully go to the dentist every six months yet still have sensitive teeth and occasional cavities. It's a bummer, sure, but it's life. The good news is that with Squigle Tooth Builder Sensitive Toothpaste, you can reinforce that weakened enamel and dull the resulting pain just by using it every time you brush your teeth.

This is a fluoride-free toothpaste so it won't do wonders for cavity prevention or restoration, and it won't launch an all-out assault on plaque or tartar. But remember that we're talking about you folks who already have good brushing and flossing habits and who need extra preventive support, not restorative help.

The absence of harsher ingredients like fluoride and nitrates also make this toothpaste a good choice for people prone to canker sores or gum sensitivity. It is a gentler formula than that found in many kinds of toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

A write up praised this product's "35 natural xylitol" concentration as a great way to get "teeth squeaky clean" without the "SLS sodium lauryl sulfate and other irritating ingredients" that can cause canker sores.

Pros: Gentle formula, helps strengthen naturally weak teeth, mild flavor

Cons: Does not restore damage as well as other options

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