Effect of desensitising toothpastes on dentinal tubule occlusion: a dentine permeability measurement and SEM in vitro study

J Dent. 2010 May;38(5):400-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2010.01.007. Epub 2010 Jan 25.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the in vitro effectiveness of a new bioglass-containing and two commercial desensitising toothpastes on dentinal tubule occlusion after citric acid challenge or artificial saliva (AS) immersion.

Methods: One hundred dentin discs from human third molars were used. Specimens were randomly divided into five groups (n=20), Group 1: EDTA-treated dentin; Group 2: brushing with distilled water; Group 3: brushing with Novamin; Group 4: brushing with Sensodyne Freshmint; Group 5: brushing with Colgate Sensitive. In each group, samples were then equally split into two subgroups (n=10) to test two post-treatments: 6% citric acid challenge or 24h immersion in artificial saliva. Dentine permeability of each specimen was measured before and after each treatment using a hydrostatic device working at 20cm H(2)O pressure. Data were analysed by two-way repeated measures ANOVA to determine if there were any significant differences within or between groups. Dentine morphology and surface deposits were observed by SEM.

Results: All three desensitising toothpastes significantly reduced dentine permeability and created precipitates on the treated dentine surfaces. Moreover, the reductions in dentine permeability showed partial recovery after a citric acid and artificial saliva immersion. Sensodyne showed significant resistant to acid attack and Novamin exhibited the lowest permeability after artificial saliva immersion for 24h.

Conclusions: The application of the three toothpastes resulted in effective dentinal tubule occlusion. However, the new bioglass-containing toothpaste (Novamin) represented excellent occlusion effects after brushing treatment and AS immersion, while Sensodyne demonstrated more reduction in permeability when citric acid challenged.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Complex Mixtures
  • Dentin / drug effects
  • Dentin / ultrastructure
  • Dentin Desensitizing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dentin Permeability / drug effects*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fluorides
  • Glass
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nitrates
  • Phosphates
  • Potassium Compounds
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Toothpastes / pharmacology*


  • Complex Mixtures
  • Dentin Desensitizing Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Nitrates
  • NovaMin
  • Phosphates
  • Potassium Compounds
  • Sensodyne
  • Toothpastes
  • colgate sensitive
  • Fluorides