Q. After reading that potassium nitrate in sensitivity-preventing toothpaste could help with asthma and cat allergies, I tried it. I checked with my dentist first and got the OK.

I frequently used to have some type of cold or allergies, but in the two years since I started I’ve not had either. I don’t know of anything else that could be responsible, and it is certainly a simple change to make.

A. The potassium nitrate found in some products for sensitive teeth was once used as an asthma treatment. Some other readers have also found it helpful against allergy symptoms.

Here are a few stories: “My son has had diabetes for 50 years (54 yrs. old now) and the last 10 years or so has had very bad asthma attacks. After I read your article in the paper I bought him a tube of Crest Sensitive Toothpaste. He said his attacks are fewer and much less severe now. The only thing he has done differently is use the toothpaste.

It’s only been about 2 months now but we hope and pray the good news continues. I’m so glad someone shared his experience with you concerning very violent asthma attacks. My son was at the point of passing out from those attacks. Thank you.”

The original story was about cat allergies. Here is a cat lover’s experience: “I tried this product after a coworker gave me a newspaper clipping. IT WORKS! I have a 16 year old indoor cat. My allergies in the last few years have become increasingly worse, despite using a clean air machine and frequent vacuuming. The first time I brushed with Crest Sensitivity toothpaste, I notice a difference. It seem to desensitize my sinus. THANK YOU!”

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  1. SR

    If I get migraines from nitrates added to foods, should I avoid potassium nitrate in toothpaste? (Is it similar to the food additives that I need to avoid?)

  2. JB

    For years I have used Sensodyne toothpaste that has Potassium nitrate 5% as its active ingredient… it has done nothing for my sinus/allergy problems…in fact they get worse as the years go by. Maybe the Crest works better, but I can’t imagine how the brand would make a difference.

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