Effect of a Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth on the Sensitivity and Effectiveness of In-office Dental Bleaching: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Oper Dent. 2023 Nov 1;48(6):627-637. doi: 10.2341/23-009-C.


Objectives: The present study aimed to evaluate the desensitizing effect of toothpaste for sensitive teeth on patient tooth sensitivity and on bleaching efficacy of the 38% hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent used for in-office bleaching compared to a regular toothpaste in a randomized clinical trial.

Methods and materials: Forty-eight patients having maxillary right central incisors with darkness greater than A1 were selected for the present double-blind randomized clinical trial. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups: the placebo group, which used regular toothpaste, and the experimental group, which used sensitivity toothpaste. The intervention consisted of applying toothpaste with the aid of an individual tray for a period of 4 minutes daily, starting one week before the first bleaching session and interrupting use immediately after the second session. After allocation to one of the groups, individuals received in-office dental bleaching with a 40-minute application of 38% hydrogen peroxide for two sessions with an interval of one week. The incidence and intensity of sensitivity were assessed using a visual analogue scale and a numeric analogue scale. Sensitivity was measured immediately before each session, 1 hour, 24 hours, and 48 hours after each bleaching session and four weeks after the second bleaching session. Tooth shade was evaluated using a spectrophotometer and by comparison with the VITA Classical Shade Guide (Vita Zahnfabrik, Bad Säckingen, Germany). Tooth shade was evaluated before the first bleaching session, one week after the first bleaching session, one week after the second bleaching session and four weeks after the second bleaching session. Participants and professionals who performed the bleaching, shade, and sensitivity assessments were blinded to the group of patients they were treating or assessing. For the incidence of hypersensitivity, the results were evaluated by comparing the groups at different evaluation times with the Mann-Whitney test for comparison between groups, the Friedman test for repeated measures, and the Tukey test for comparison of times. Shade change on the guide was analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test for comparison between groups and the Wilcoxon test for comparison between times. Shade change by the spectrophotometer was analyzed using the t-test for comparison between groups and the paired t-test for comparison between times. All analyses were performed with a significance level of 5%.

Results: There was no difference in the pattern of dental hypersensitivity between groups. For all shade measures, there was no difference between the bleaching results, and no statistically significant difference was observed between the study groups.

Conclusion: The use of arginine-based desensitizing toothpaste did not interfere with the bleaching ability of hydrogen peroxide and was not effective in reducing the sensitivity caused by in-office tooth bleaching.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Dentin Sensitivity* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / therapeutic use
  • Tooth Bleaching Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Tooth Bleaching* / adverse effects
  • Tooth Bleaching* / methods
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Toothpastes
  • Tooth Bleaching Agents