- Continuing Education
Prophylaxis pastes with desensitizing agents are another professional treatment used for the relief of sensitivity. One example is paste containing 8% arginine (Pro-Argin), calcium carbonate, and 1450 ppm fluoride as sodium monofluorophosphate (Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief). Arginine, an amino acid naturally present in saliva, is reported to work in conjunction with calcium carbonate and phosphate to occlude dentinal tubules.70-76
Results from a 12-week clinical trial showed that 8% arginine-containing prophylaxis paste was statistically significantly more effective in reducing dentinal hypersensitivity than a control pumice prophylaxis paste (NuPro) immediately following application and after 4 weeks. No statistically significant differences were noted between treatment groups post-scaling and after 12 weeks.70
In some markets outside the US, arginine is available in over-the-counter dentifrice and mouthrinse products.
Another prophylaxis paste for hypersensitivity relief contains sodium calcium phosphosilicate, marketed under the name of NovaMin®.77,78 Sodium calcium phosphosilicate occludes the dentinal tubules by forming a protective hydroxyapatite-like layer on the dentin surface. A number of clinical studies investigating the efficacy of NovaMin® for the relief of dentinal hypersensitivity have been conducted.79-82
Neuhaus et al., conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blind, parallel study with three treatment groups - sodium calcium phosphosilicate prophylaxis paste, with and without fluoride, and a control group - in 151 subjects meeting dentinal hypersensitivity entrance criteria.83 Tactile and air blast assessments were completed at baseline and day 28. The results indicate that after a single professional application of sodium calcium phosphosilicate prophylaxis paste, hypersensitivity was significantly reduced immediately and 28 days after scaling and root planing procedures. The effect was independent from the presence of fluoride in the paste.