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Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2009 Nov-Dec;30(9):622-4, 626, 628 passim.

Mechanism of action of a desensitizing fluoride toothpaste delivering calcium and phosphate ingredients in the treatment of dental hypersensitivity. Part II: comparison with a professional treatment for tooth hypersensitivity.

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Church & Dwight Co, Inc, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.


Tooth hypersensitivity can occur when gum recession causes exposure of dentin. Tiny tubules, which permeate dentin, provide open passageways from the mouth to the intradental nerve in the pulpal cavity. Under such circumstances, stimuli in the mouth can cause pressure on the intradental nerve, leading to pain. Sealing the outside of the tubules with an impermeable substance can effectively treat hypersensitivity. One such clinically proven composition is a professionally applied tooth desensitizer, which has been shown to initially produce a layer of amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) on the surface of dentin. Under the influence of fluoride, ACP reforms as hydroxyapatite (HAP), which has essentially the same composition as tooth mineral. Three fluoride toothpastes that deliver calcium and phosphate salts to the teeth also have been demonstrated in clinical trials to relieve hypersensitivity. This study compared the mechanism of action of these toothpastes to that of the professional desensitizer. A single application of the professional desensitizer or multiple applications of any of the three toothpastes was shown to reduce dentin permeability. A conventional fluoride toothpaste also was found to inhibit fluid flow through the dentin but to a lesser degree than the other toothpastes. The desensitizer and the three toothpastes were found to occlude the dentinal tubules with a layer of calcium phosphate that had a calcium-to-phosphate ratio consistent with the formation of ACP or HAP. The morphology of the coherent mineral layer formed by Arm & Hammer Enamel Care Sensitive was similar, especially to that produced by the desensitizer. In contrast, the conventional toothpaste left localized areas of surface residue composed of silica particles. The mechanism of action of the three toothpastes that deliver calcium and phosphate salts is the same as that of the professional desensitizer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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