What are the active ingredients in Sensodyne toothpaste?

Sensodyne toothpastes contain one of these active ingredients that work to relieve tooth sensitivity with twice daily brushing: potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride.

All Sensodyne products contain either sodium fluoride or stannous fluoride to help fight against cavities with twice daily brushing, so you can maintain healthy teeth every day. Read on to learn more about the carefully selected ingredients in Sensodyne toothpastes that make them so effective at combating the causes and symptoms of sensitive tooth pain.

You can also find out more about the most common ingredients found in toothpastes, including the Sensodyne range.

POTASSIUM NITRATE

Sensodyne toothpastes with potassium nitrate depolarize the nerves inside your teeth3, preventing them from sending pain signals when they come in contact with sensitivity triggers such as a burst of cold air or hot coffee.

Potassium nitrate is a mineral. It contains potassium ions which work to desensitize the nerve inside the tooth, helping to provide relief from sensitive tooth pain.1,3

Sensodyne Toothpastes with potassium nitrate include:

Sensodyne Deep Clean – Deep cleans your sensitive teeth with twice daily brushing.

Sensodyne True White – Helps prevent and remove stains.

Sensodyne Essential Care – Soothes the nerves inside your teeth.

STANNOUS FLUORIDE

Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the teeth, protect against acid erosion and prevent decay caused by bacteria.3 Stannous fluoride is a form of fluoride that is also particularly effective at relieving tooth sensitivity. It does this by blocking the dental tubules that allow triggers, like a cold soda, sweets, or sour candy, from reaching the nerves inside the tooth and causing pain.2

Sensodyne toothpastes with stannous fluoride thus work like a shield to protect the exposed dentin (the soft, inner part of the tooth) and helps prevent sensitivity from occurring with twice daily brushing.

Sensodyne toothpastes with stannous fluoride include:

Sensodyne Rapid Relief – Fast relief in three days with twice daily brushing.

Sensodyne Repair and Protect – Daily repair for sensitive teeth with twice daily brushing.*

Sensodyne Complete Protection – Plaque control and gingivitis prevention.

Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum – Designed to help with both sensitivity and gum problems.

SODIUM FLUORIDE

Like stannous fluroride, sodium fluoride strengthens teeth to help prevent tooth decay. It also helps to remineralize tooth enamel in the early stages of tooth decay.3

Many Sensodyne toothpastes contain sodium fluoride, including but not limited to:

Sensodyne Deep Clean – Fresh, minty taste and deep teeth clean.

Sensodyne Full Protection – Relieves sensitivity and prevents cavities.

 

What are the inactive ingredients in Sensodyne toothpaste?

PENTASODIUM TRIPHOSPHATE

A number of Sensodyne toothpastes contain pentasodium triphosphate, a form of sodium phosphate, which is an inactive ingredient for stain prevention and removal. These include:

Sensodyne Rapid Relief – Fast relief in three days with twice daily brushing.

Sensodyne Deep Clean – Deep cleans your sensitive teeth.

Sensodyne Complete Protection – Plaque control and gingivitis prevention.

Sensodyne Repair and Protect – Daily repair for sensitive teeth with twice daily brushing.*

Sensodyne True White – Helps prevent and remove stains.

Sensodyne Extra Whitening – Sensitivity relief and a whiter smile.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS)AND OTHER SURFACTANTS

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common detergent (or surfactant) added to many toothpastes to make them foam. The suds help distribute the toothpaste evenly around the mouth and dissolve residue from the surface of your teeth.4,5 Most Sensodyne toothpastes are SLS-free. Instead, other detergents such as sodium methyl cocoyl taurate and cocamidopropyl betaine are used.

If you do like the sudsy effect of an SLS toothpaste, these are just some of the Sensodyne products that contain SLS:

Sensodyne Deep Clean – Deep cleans your sensitive teeth.

Sensodyne Rapid Relief – Fast relief in three days with twice daily brushing.

Sensodyne Complete Protection – Plaque control and gingivitis prevention.

Sensodyne Repair and Protect – Daily repair for sensitive teeth with twice daily brushing.*

XANTHAN GUM

Xanthan gum is a stabilizer and binding agent that ensures all the other ingredients in toothpaste stay evenly mixed together.5, 6 Binding agents like this help to prevent the solid and liquid ingredients from separating in the tube.6

You’ll find xanthan gum in these Sensodyne toothpastes, as well as others in the Sensodyne range:

Sensodyne True White – Helps prevent and remove stains.

Sensodyne Extra Whitening – Soothes nerves while whitening your smile.

Sensodyne Pronamel – Protects against the effects of everyday acid wear.

HYDRATED SILICA

Hydrated silica is an abrasive that helps clean debris and staining off the surface of your teeth without damaging the enamel.4 Hydrated silica is used in Sensodyne toothpastes.

GLYCEROL AND PEG-8

A common humectant, glycerol helps retain moisture within the toothpaste to stop it from drying out and maintain a consistent, smooth texture that’s easy to squeeze out of the tube.4,6

PEG (polyethylene glycol)-8 also serves as a humectant to keep your toothpaste moist.7

You’ll find glycerol and PEG-8 in Sensodyne toothpastes.

SWEETENERS

A few ingredients are added to Sensodyne toothpastes to give them a fresh, pleasant flavor and cover the taste of other ingredients. These include sorbitol, a natural sugar alcohol, and sodium saccharin, an artificial sweetener.

The advantage of these ingredients is that they give toothpaste a sweet taste without the need for cavity-causing sugar.4

Sorbitol is used in Sensodyne True White, Sensodyne Extra Whitening and the Sensodyne Pronamel range.

Sodium saccharin is also used in these toothpastes, as well as in Sensodyne Rapid Relief, Sensodyne Repair and Protect and Sensodyne Complete Protection.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE

Titanium dioxide is a mineral substance that is commonly used in cosmetics and other products to give them a bright, white color.8 This fine white powder is added to all Sensodyne toothpastes as a coloring.

*Sensodyne Repair and Protect is intended for relief of occasional dentin hypersensitivity that occurs when sensitive teeth are exposed to hot or cold substances. It contains stannous fluoride, a well-established, effective tooth desensitizer with remineralization properties. There is general scientific consensus that occluding exposed dentin effectively relieves the occasional pain of dentin hypersensitivity.

Check Out These Videos to Learn How the Ingredients in Sensodyne Toothpastes Work:

How Sensodyne True White toothpastes with potassium nitrate work

Sensodyne True White with Potassium Nitrate

2:00

How Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpastes with stannous fluoride work

Beat Tooth Sensitivity Fast

0:30

    Sources:

  1. NIH National Library of Medicine. Potassium nitrate. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Potassium-nitrate. Accessed February 2, 2021.
  2. American Dental Association. Toothpastes. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes?_ga=2.131968591.1546440708.1557500097-2018465536.1555076069 Accessed May 7, 2019.
  3. Toothpastes, Oral Health Topics. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes. Accessed December 12, 2019.
  4. Toothpastes, Oral Health Topics. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes. Accessed December 12, 2019.
  5. Toothpastes, Oral Health Topics. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes. Accessed December 12, 2019.
  6. What is Toothpaste. Dental Health Foundation Ireland. https://www.dentalhealth.ie/adult-oral-health/oral-health-care-products1/what-is-toothpaste/. Accessed June 13, 2022.
  7. Toothpastes, Oral Health Topics. American Dental Association. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothpastes. Accessed December 12, 2019.
  8. NIH National Library of Medicine. Titanium Dioxide. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/26042. Accessed February 2, 2021.