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Sensitive teeth


13 May 2010

Dentine hypersensitivity has been defined as pain arising from exposed dentine, typically in response to chemical, thermal or osmotic stimuli that cannot be attributed to any other form of dental defect or pathology2. The pain does not arise spontaneously, and does not persist after removal of the stimulus.

The condition is most often associated with recession of the gingiva with resultant exposure of the root surface and rapid loss of the thin layer of cementum that covers the underlying dentine. Dentine hypersensitivity may also arise as a consequence of periodontal disease (gum disease), surgical and/or non-surgical treatment.

The most widely accepted theory of the mechanism of pain production is the hydrodynamic theory proposed by Brännström (1966). This theory states that stimuli increase the rate of fluid flow through the dentinal tubules which in turn activate nerve fibres in the pulp. In support of this theory, it has been demonstrated that hypersensitive dentine has a greater number of widened dentinal tubules open to the surface than non-sensitive dentine3,4.

Pro-ArginTM Technology

Attempts to reduce dentine hypersensitivity have been aimed at either occluding open dentine tubules, thus preventing movement of fluid within the tubules, or reducing the excitability of the nerve fibres in the peripheral pulp. A breakthrough technology is now available for customers experiencing dentine hypersensitivity – new Pro-ArginTM Technology.

Pro-ArginTM Technology contains arginine, an amino acid naturally found in saliva, an insoluble calcium compound in the form of calcium carbonate5. Latest research suggests the positively charged arginine molecules bind to the negatively charged surface of dentine, attracting calcium to the dentine surface to form a calcium rich mineral layer. This calcium rich layer occludes open tubules, protecting dentine fluid from exposure to external stimuli, thus stopping fluid movement in the tubules. This blocking of the fluid movement helps to remove the cause of pain and discomfort.

Pro-ArginTM Technology delivers proven anti-sensitivity benefits based on a natural process of tubule occlusion, clinically proven to provide instant and lasting relief from dentine hypersensitivity when applied directly to the sensitive tooth with the fingertip and gently massaged for one minute.1-3

References
1. Nathoo S et al (2009). J Clin Dent; 20 (Spec Iss): 123-130
2. Addy and Urquhart, 1992
3. Schiff et al (2009). J Clin Dent; 22 (Spec Iss): 131-136
4. Docimo R et al (2009). J Clin Dent; 20 (Spec Iss): 17-22
5. Cummins D J et al (2009). J Clin Dent; 20 (Spec Iss): 17-22

Dr Anousheh Alavi BDS MSc FDS RCS(Edin), Colgate Scientific Affairs, UK and Ireland


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