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Dentinal Hypersensitivity: A Review

Course Number: 200


Arginine is an amino acid which occurs naturally in saliva. The mechanism of action for toothpastes containing arginine bicarbonate and calcium carbonate is plugging of open dentinal tubules. The plug is able to remain even after exposure to acids. In 2013 Sharif et al conducted a systematic review of Arginine toothpastes effectiveness in treating DH. The review highlighted that the studies conducted thus far involved small numbers of subjects and reduced DH in the short-term. The authors recommended that further well designed RCTs should be conducted looking at medium and long term effects of Arginine on DH.47 There is a cross-over product (at home use and professionally applied) Colgate Anywhere Anytime Sensitivity Relief System that has the following ingredients: Arginine bicarbonate, benzyl alcohol, calcium carbonate, cellulose gum, flavor, glycerin, propylene glycol, sodium bicarbonate, sodium saccharin, sodium silicate, titanium dioxide and water. Very little research has been conducted to come to any conclusion regarding the effectiveness of Arginine products. In regards to clinical significance, the results of this clinical study, together with the results of published pivotal studies, demonstrate that a desensitizing toothpaste containing 8% arginine and calcium carbonate, with or without fluoride, provides statistically significant reduction in dentin hypersensitivity when applied by a dental professional prior to a professional dental prophylaxis. The results also demonstrate that this desensitizing toothpaste provides statistically significant reductions in dentin hypersensitivity when used subsequently as an adjunct to routine twice daily tooth brushing.47