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Dent Clin North Am. 1990 Jul;34(3):545-60.

Over-the-counter dentifrices in the treatment of tooth hypersensitivity. Review of clinical studies.

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  • 1Dental Research, Unilever Research US, Edgewater, New Jersey.


Dentinal hypersensitivity is a common condition. Most cases, after professional diagnosis, can be treated simply and inexpensively by home use of a desensitizing dentifrice. Because the habit of toothbrushing with a dentifrice for cosmetic reasons is well established in the population, compliance with this regimen is not a problem. Dentifrices incorporating potassium nitrate, strontium chloride, and dibasic sodium citrate have all been clinically determined to be effective desensitizers, and several brands have been critically evaluated and accepted by the Council on Dental Therapeutics of the ADA. During the years, clinical methodology has evolved from monadically designed, subjective investigator reports to present-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials employing stimuli that are quantifiable in physical units. Future development of more effective desensitizing dentifrices will depend on standardization in clinical design, especially regarding stimulus choice and mode of application.

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