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Toothpaste WITH Potassium Nitrate AND Stannous Fluoride

Updated: Feb 5

Unfortunately, there is no sensitive toothpaste with both potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride in the ingredients because it does not exist.


Potassium nitrate toothpaste next to Stannous fluoride toothpaste
Potassium nitrate toothpaste next to Stannous fluoride toothpaste

Put another way, there are hundreds of toothpaste manufacturers but none of them make a toothpaste with both of those ingredients in it together. If you don't believe us, you can go scour the internet looking for it but we assure you, it is more elusive than a unicorn.


But, let me guess.


Your teeth are pretty sensitive and you're looking for a solution. You've probably been wondering why popular sensitive toothpastes such as those from Sensodyne only contain either or of those two desensitizing ingredients but never have both of them together.


Table of contents:


Does it really not exist?

We kid you not. You can browse through the entirety of the internet but you will never find a toothpaste with both stannous fluoride and potassium nitrate in the ingredients together.


What you will find are sensitive toothpastes that contain one or the other.

  • There are sensitive toothpastes with stannous fluoride but no potassium nitrate.

  • There are sensitive toothpastes with potassium nitrate but no stannous fluoride.


The prime example would be Sensodyne which makes toothpastes specifically for people with teeth sensitivity. Although you can browse other brands as well but they are the most commonly well known.


Desensitizers in Sensodyne toothpastes

Please browse through the entire product offering of Sensodyne along with their Sensodyne Pronamel line.


Sensodyne product lines:

  • Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste

  • Repair & Protect Deep Repair toothpaste

  • Rapid Relief toothpaste

  • Essential care toothpaste

  • Complete protection toothpaste

  • Sensodyne natural white


Sensodyne stannous fluoride toothpaste
Sensodyne stannous fluoride toothpaste

Pronamel product lines:

  • Intensive enamel repair

  • Mineral boost

  • Gentle whitening

  • Multi-action

  • Fresh breath

  • Daily protection


Sensodyne potassium nitrate toothpaste
Sensodyne potassium nitrate toothpaste

What you will find is what we stated above.

  • The toothpastes will only contain stannous fluoride OR potassium nitrate as the main desensitizing ingredient.

  • What you won't find is a toothpaste that contains both ingredients together.


Does that not make you wonder WHY?


 

Why this is important

The reason why you may want to know if you can use two desensitizing agents in your toothpaste is because it may be more effective.


We've lost count of the number of times where patients tell us that their teeth feel sensitive and we tell them to use sensodyne toothpaste. Half of the time, the patients respond saying that they already use that toothpaste.


Clearly, the current state of sensitive toothpastes is inadequate in alleviating sensitivity for the vast majority of the population. This may result in people seeking out alternative options in desensitizing their teeth.


The most obvious next step would be to use two different desensitizers in your toothpaste. Clearly, two is better than one right? However, sensodyne is saying that you can't use their two desensitizing agents together simultaneously.


 

Our theory for why there aren't toothpastes with it

Our theory as to why you can't mix stannous fluoride with potassium nitrate is because it is unstable. According to the NJ health website, the tin in stannous fluoride is listed as "not compatible" with nitrates. The material safety data sheet shows that tin has a specialty fire hazard remark when reacted with nitrates.


In other words, when the two are mixed together it could potentially combust.

With that being said, it is highly unlikely for you to make the toothpaste combust by combining potassium nitrate toothpaste with stannous fluoride toothpaste. There are a lot more additional steps involved as per a mad scientist forum.


As for proof, we'll mix the two together in a video to show you how it won't explode.



Video key points:

  • Mixing the stannous fluoride with potassium nitrate did not result in an explosion.

  • The paste did develop a mild exothermic reaction (it started feeling warm) for about 5 seconds or so.


In our opinion, it is highly unlikely for combustion to happen but Sensodyne does not recommend it due to the off chance that it does happen. There's a lot of liability in that.


With that being said, our recommendation is to AVOID brushing with these two desensitizing ingredients simultaneously. Since it could potentially be harmful, we recommend against it.


 

Alternative sensitive toothpastes

Instead of using potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride mixed together in a toothpaste, there is a safer alternative for sensitive toothpastes. We recommend using a potassium nitrate toothpaste that also contains hydroxyapatite.


ollie toothpaste
ollie toothpaste

Toothpastes with hydroxyapatite and potassium nitrate:

  • Ollie toothpaste

  • Apadent sensitive


apadent sensitive toothpaste
apadent sensitive toothpaste

The hydroxyapatite will desensitize teeth in a similar manner as stannous fluoride via occluding exposed dentinal tubules.

  • Hydroxyapatite directly clogs up the open dentinal tubules.

  • Stannous fluoride forms a tin complex which clogs up the open tubules.


The reason why hydroxyapatite is safer and a better companion for potassium nitrate is because it is not a fire hazard. There is no indication of incompatibility issues with these two desensitizing ingredients.


The Apadent toothpaste is a Japanese brand and is predominantly available overseas so it is more cost prohibitive to procure. Luckily for you, Ollie is an American brand and it is readily available through their website (affiliate link).


Takeaway

In summary, there isn't a toothpaste with both potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride mixed together. Sensitive toothpastes will only use one or the other as the desensitizing ingredient but never both together.


Those two ingredients have an instability issue when combined together therefore, our dentists in Long Island City do NOT recommended using both products in unison.

David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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