This is my review of the Sensodyne Complete Protection toothpaste where I’ll walk you through the unboxing and all the way to brushing with it.
Yes, I am a dentist so of course I’ll also talk about how this sensodyne toothpaste desensitizes your teeth and how effective it is at doing so. You’ll get all of my subjective opinions as well as the objective facts for this dentifrice.
The sensodyne sensitivity gum and enamel was designed for those who suffer from chronic teeth sensitivity. They either have receded gums or eroded enamel, which contribute to their sensitivity.
This product was made to restore gum health and reharden the enamel. It is actually Sensodyne’s newest product and is the next iteration of their “sensitivity and gum” toothpaste.
|Net weight||3.4 oz (96.4 g)|
|Dispensing mechanism||Squeezable tube|
|Cap design||Twist off cap|
|Remineralization agent||Stannous Fluoride|
With twice daily brushing, benefits include:
- Daily toothpaste with triple action – Provides long-lasting protection from sensitivity, helps restore gum health, and re-hardens the enamel surface.
- Targets and removes plaque bacteria in the hard to reach places in between the teeth and along the gumline.
- Formula builds a protective layer over the sensitive areas to relieve sensitivity.
- Strengthens enamel surface and protects teeth from dietary acids, while being gentle on enamel.
- Provides an extra fresh feeling.
Directions are for adults and children 12 years and older.
- Apply at least a 1-inch strip of the product onto a soft bristle toothbrush.
- Brush teeth thoroughly for at least 1 minute twice a day (morning/night).
- Do not brush more than 3 times per day unless directed by a dentist.
- Make sure to brush all sensitive areas of the teeth.
- Minimize swallowing and spit out after brushing.
My comment: It always bewilders me that the recommendation on the label says to brush for at least 1 minute when the general consensus is 2 minutes!
There are a total of 12 ingredients in this toothpaste, 1 active and 11 inactive ones.
Stannous fluoride (SnF2) 0.454% is the only active ingredient but it has multiple beneficial effects:
If you compare SnF2 to sodium fluoride, you’ll notice that the latter has a lot less “purposes” in comparison. This is because the stannous version of fluoride is a rock star ingredient.
|Whitening Abrasive||Hydrated Silica|
Titanium Dioxide (white coloring)
|Anti-tartar & Anti-staining||Pentasodium triphosphate|
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (foaming/lathering)
The ingredient list is fairly minimal and I like how it doesn’t have any color dyes. The brand tries to only include the necessary ingredients and not a single one more.
The sensodyne sensitivity gum & enamel came in a standard rectangular cardboard box with a white, blue, and red color theme. It has a big “new” symbol on it to let you know that its their latest product in 2023.
I must say that I am super surprised that this is the first Sensodyne product which has a sealed packaging box. That’s right, both ends of it were glued!
I’ve never seen another one of their products that had their box sealed. They were all left open thus far, at least with all of the ones that I’ve reviewed. Below are all unboxings and as you can see, none of them were sealed.
Anyway, the only contents inside the box was just the toothpaste and nothing else.
The tube is made of plastic and it felt similar to all of their other toothpastes. There weren’t any special features or alterations to their product design despite it being a new product.
The toothpaste does come with your usual round shaped twist off cap. It is technically a double cap, where the outer ring is enlarged for better grip. The true seal for the opening is the smaller inner ring/cap.
What I liked about the packaging is that Sensodyne was thoughtful enough to include a safety seal which you can see with the cap off. This acts as a tamper proof seal to let you know that the product has not been used before.
You can easily lift and peel off this small seal and you’ll be ready to start brushing.
Last but not least, the broad base twist off cap will double up as a toothpaste stand. It permits the tube to be stored in a vertical upright position. This gives off an air of being more organized and it does look more like a cosmetic product instead of a toothpaste.
Overall, I do have a pretty good impression of this toothpaste thus far. The biggest surprise for me was the fact that the packaging was sealed for once.
Perhaps they will start doing this for all for their new toothpastes? To be quite honest, I’m not sure why they never did this, it is a safety mechanism and is considered good practice.
The first thing that I immediately noticed with the sensodyne sensitivity gum & enamel toothpaste was that its color wasn’t quite white. It was more off-white and had a yellowish tint to it.
Aside from that, brushing with it was pretty much in line with all of the other sensodyne products that I’ve tried. It cleaned my teeth well, reduced sensitivity, and overall I had no complaints in regards to using it.
|Color||Off-white with a tint of yellow|
The color of the toothpaste is an off-white color that looks slightly yellow. It isn’t as white as their other products. Although the average person would probably just call it white and be done with it. However, since I’ve reviewed so many of their toothpastes, every little detail stands out to me.
It has your typical mint smell and mint taste. There wasn’t anything that stood out to me in that it did not invoke any mental imagery as I was brushing.
As an example, the Pronamel Daily Protection toothpaste invoked the image of Vaseline on my lips as I was brushing. This toothpaste on the other hand, did not ignite my imagination.
This toothpaste has a somewhat thick texture which does take a couple of seconds of brushing to disperse it across all of my teeth.
The paste does hold its shape and it doesn’t slump that much. However, when I inverted the toothbrush, it did slump off of it after about 2-3 seconds. Perhaps be a little careful waving your toothbrush around with it.
This toothpaste has a good amount of foam but that is because it contains two surfactants which are foaming agents. It has SLS as well as cocamidopropyl betaine.
The image above shows the quantity of foam after 2 minutes of brushing without spitting. Yes, I held it all in for you so you can see.
This toothpaste felt like it did what it was supposed to do. My teeth felt clean and I didn’t feel any sensitivity while I was using it. I mean, what can I say it is a sensitive toothpaste.
Pros & Cons
There is no such thing as a perfect oral care product because all of them will have advantages and disadvantages. Adding a certain ingredient may give a certain benefit but also come with a downside.
- Stannous fluoride is the premium version of fluoride.
- Prevents and remineralizes small cavities.
- Decreases tooth sensitivity.
- Minimal ingredients.
- Can be stored upright.
- More costly than sodium fluoride toothpastes.
- May worsen canker sores.
- Screw cap design.
- Small 3.4 oz size.
- May cause teeth staining.
- Uses SLS.
SLS and canker sores
Sodium lauryl sulfate may potentially make canker sores worse or delay its healing. Although some sources say that there is insufficient evidence.
- Some studies say that it increases the frequency and intensity of the sores thus abstaining from SLS toothpastes alleviated symptoms.
- Other studies claim that there is insufficient evidence to make such a claim.
Nonetheless, what is true is that SLS is a powerful detergent. It was potent enough to de-grease war plane engines during World War II.
What I’m trying to say is that it can be very drying on your mouth because it can remove natural oils. Typically for ulcers, keeping the area moisturized will help it heal quicker. The SLS will seems counterproductive to its recovery.
Therefore it is common sense for to avoid it if you were prone to canker sores.
Potential teeth staining
Surprise, surprise but stannous fluoride toothpastes may potentially stain your teeth. If you thought I was kidding, look at the “other information” section on the box label.
However, it does state that adequate oral hygiene should prevent the staining from occurring. The effects are temporary and a visit to your dentist should remove it with ease.
Not fluoride optimized
An often overlooked disadvantage to using SLS in a fluoride toothpaste is there antagonistic interaction. Sodium lauryl sulfate in the presence of fluoride will reduce its bioavailability.
That means the detergent will bind and interact with the fluoride ions and remove it from being usable by the teeth. This in essence reduces some of the remineralization that occurs.
Does it work?
The defining feature of the Sensodyne sensitivity gum & enamel toothpaste is that it bestows 3 major benefits with twice daily brushing.
- Relieves sensitivity. Builds a protective layer over the sensitive areas of teeth.
- Removes plaque bacteria. Targets and removes plaque bacteria in between teeth and along the gumline.
- Strengthens enamel. Strengthens enamel surface and protects teeth from acids while being gentle on the enamel.
Yes this toothpaste can provide all 3 of the stated benefits from above and it works by using stannous fluoride.
How it desensitizes teeth
The desensitizing agent in this toothpaste is the stannous fluoride. Yes, it’s also an anti-cavity agent but this type of fluoride has an additional benefit of being able to reduce teeth sensitivity.
How stannous fluoride (SnF2) blocks sensitivity:
- Stannous fluoride occludes exposed dentinal tubules by forming a deposit consisting of tin, zinc, phosphate, and silicon that block it.
- The blocked tubules are preventing from transmitting stimuli.
The image above shows how when dentinal tubules become unclogged, the teeth can become sensitive. The principle behind SnF2 is by reclogging the tubules thus preventing the nerve from being exposed to stimuli.
How it removes bacteria
Fluoride is toxic to bacteria so when they take in too much of it, it can lead to their demise. The surfactants in this toothpaste helps spread the fluoride around the mouth which enables it to get in between the gums and the gumline.
- Inhibits metabolism of glucose (glycolytic enzyme enolase activity).
- Inhibits proton-extruding adenosine triphosphate (H+/ATPase) for molecular transport.
Essentially what the fluoride does is interfere with the bacteria’s ability to process sugar and take in sugar from the mouth. This process ends up starving the bacteria to death.
How it strengthens enamel
Stannous fluoride repairs/strengthens the enamel the same way that sodium fluoride does. All of the strengthening effects is derived from the fluoride ion.
How fluoride strengthens enamel:
- Fluoride ions readily displace and replace the hydroxyl group of hydroxyapatite, which is the predominant mineral in teeth.
- Hydroxyapatite combined with fluoride becomes fluorapatite which is more stable and acid resistant by lowering the critical pH from 5.5 down to 4.5
- This means it requires an acid that is 10x more potent to dissolve it.
How fluoride repairs enamel:
This is the reason why dentists always recommend a fluoride toothpaste over a non-fluoridated one.
I think the Sensodyne sensitivity gum & enamel repair is a good daily protection toothpaste, which provides all of the basic benefits that you’d need.
- It has anti-cavity and decay preventative effects.
- It is has anti-gingivitis properties since it kills bacteria.
- It will also desensitize teeth.
Who this toothpaste is good for:
- An all around toothpaste for daily protection.
- People who don’t have a strong need for a specific benefit such as maximum anti-sensitivity or maximum anti-cavity.
However, if you have a particular benefit that you want to laser focus on such as remineralizing teeth or if you wanted the best sensitive toothpaste, you may want a more specialized product.
The benefits for this toothpaste is more generalized in my opinion.
Below is a video recap of my review for the sensitivity gum and enamel toothpaste in case you do better with a visual learning style.
Hopefully, this helps you in deciding whether this oral care product may be the right one for you.