Sensodyne Toothpaste: Safe during Pregnancy?

I am five weeks pregnant and have sensitive teeth. I use Sensodyne toothpaste but now I'm concerned about whether it is safe for me to use during pregnancy.

Question:

The makers of Sensodyne and Aquafresh Sensitive toothpastes were also not aware of any problems using their products during pregnancy. They were not aware of any specific studies that addressed this specific issue. I have provided contact information for each of these companies below if you would like to personally contact them.

I do not believe that there is any reason to stop using Sensodyne toothpaste during your pregnancy. It is important to avoid swallowing Sensodyne or any other brand of toothpaste. I am not sure if Potassium Nitrate can be absorbed through the oral mucosa. If any absorption occurs, it is probably negligible.

A member of my staff spoke to Craig Sterling, Pharm. D., at Stanford University Hospital, Department of Pharmacy. Dr. Sterling confirmed that he was not aware of any contraindications for using Sensodyne toothpaste during pregnancy provided that the toothpaste is not ingested. His review of non-prescription drugs in the Physicians Desk Reference and a search of Medline, an online medical research database, did not mention any known problems associated with using Sensodyne or other Potassium Nitrate-based toothpastes during pregnancy.

The active ingredients in Sensodyne toothpaste include Sodium Monofluorophosphate and Potassium Nitrate. Most toothpastes for sensitive teeth contain about 5% Potassium Nitrate. It is this specific compound that influences the minerals already present in your saliva to crystallize and cover the pores in your tooth. After a few weeks of using this toothpaste, your teeth should be less sensitive. Aggressive brushing with a hard bristled toothbrush may wear away the coating on the teeth which will cause the sensitivity to return. Ingesting acidic foods like citrus fruits, colas, and tea can also cause tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are still sensitive after using Sensodyne for a few weeks, see your dentist. There are oxalate compounds, bonding agents, and other products that can also reduce sensitivity.

For further information, you may contact your obstetrician or the following companies:

Sensodyne Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Block Drug Company, Inc.
Jersey City, NJ 07302-3198
Phone: (201) 434-3000
Phone: (800) 365-6500 ext. 1308

Aquafresh Sensitive Toothpaste
SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare, L.P.
Pittsburgh, PA 15230
Phone: (800) 245-1040
Medical Affairs Phone: (800) 378-4055
http://www.sb.com

You and your dentist should attempt to determine why your teeth are sensitive. Receding gums or small fracture lines on your teeth may cause sensitivity. Teeth may be particularly sensitive to cold or hot foods and/or biting pressure.

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