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What is Sensitive Toothpaste?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 17, 2024
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Sensitive toothpaste is an oral care product that is used by people who have sensitivity in their mouths, particularly around their gums. The purpose of sensitive toothpaste is to make it more comfortable for people to take care of their teeth, particularly when brushing their teeth, despite sensitive gums. There are a number of toothpaste companies that carry products for sensitive teeth. There are some toothpaste brands that only sell sensitive toothpaste.

Even if the gums are feeling very sensitive, it is important to maintain regular oral hygiene practices. Brushing and flossing every day is an important part of dental care. In order to make these practices easier for people with sensitive gums, products like sensitive toothpaste, as well as toothbrushes with soft bristles, can help. There are also brands of dental floss that are more comfortable for people with sensitive gums. Avoiding these practices because of sensitive gums, however, can lead to further dental problems and the pain that comes with rotten or unhealthy teeth and gums.

Some people with extremely sensitive gums find that even using sensitive toothpaste and the right kinds of toothbrushes and dental floss leads to pain. These people may find that it is necessary to use a numbing gel on the gums prior to brushing. These products are usually made for babies who are teething, but have the same or similar results on the gums of adults. By rubbing the numbing gel all over the gums prior to brushing, the sensitivity can be managed until after the teeth have been brushed and flossed.

Those who have sensitive gums may have negative reactions to activities other than just brushing their teeth. Sometimes they also have a sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. Some kinds of sensitive toothpaste are meant to help ease this kind of sensitivity as well. Again, if the sensitive toothpaste is not sufficient, the numbing gel can be used.

While sensitive gums can often be managed by using sensitive toothpaste, it is important to report this condition to a dentist. Sensitive gums may be caused by one's natural sensitivities or may be caused by age. There are also serious dental health issues, however, that might be indicated by sore or sensitive gums. For this reason, it is important to rule out any serious dental issues with a dentist before treating sensitive gums with over-the-counter products.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By anon318521 — On Feb 07, 2013

Can I use sensitive toothpaste if my teeth aren't sensitive?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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