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Dentinal Hypersensitivity: A Review

Course Number: 200

Bioactive Glass

Dentifrices containing desensitizing agents have been the most popular first-line treatment for sensitive teeth, but there are some drawbacks. It typically takes time (approximately 4 weeks) to experience relief and on-going use is required to maintain the benefit.

One such product is NovaMin, a synthetic mineral composed of calcium, sodium, phosphorus and silica releases deposits of crystalline, hydroxyl-carbonate apatite which is structurally similar to tooth mineral composition. NovaMin is technically described as sodium calcium phosphosilicate.

Method of Action

The formation of bioglass reacts with the saliva in the mouth to form a protective layer of hydroxyapatite on the tooth, thereby, occluding dentin tubules. This layer prevents the discomfort that is tooth sensitivity.

A number of clinical studies (5) investigating the efficacy of NovaMin for four and six weeks have been conducted. A product name you may be familiar with is Sensodyne Repair and Protect. An overview of the clinical evidence for the use of NovaMin to treat dentinal hypersensitivity was addressed by Gendreau et al. Clinical evidence supports the effectiveness of the 5% and 7.5% product twice daily brushing for pain relief from this malady.56 Burwell et al conducted four experiments to demonstrate the ability of NovaMin to rapidly occlude tubules, remain on the dentin surface in the face of acid challenges, and form a stable layer on the surface of the dentin. NovaMin was compared to other marketed calcium-based products that claim tubule occlusion after a single treatment, a 10 day acid challenge looking at tubule occlusion, changes in surface hardness and calcium release. The authors concluded from the 4 experiments that NovaMin adheres to an exposed tooth dentin surface and reacts to form a mineralized layer. The layer is resistant to acid challenges and is strong mechanically. In addition, there is a continuous release of calcium over time and after four hours a higher release of calcium was observed providing for continual occlusion of the tubules.57