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Hypersensitivity and exposed dentin tubules

Dentin hypersensitivity occurs when dentin becomes exposed and tubules are open at the dentin surface. Gingival recession is the primary way dentin is exposed in the cervical region of the tooth. Once the root is exposed, the protective layer of cementum is easily removed, resulting in open dentin tubules. Dentin hypersensitivity affects up to 57% of patients.1


Fluid disturbances within dentin tubules

Based on Brännström?s Hydrodynamic Theory,2,3 dentin hypersensitivity is caused by movement of fluid in open dentin tubules. Heat, cold, air and pressure can cause this rapid movement of fluid in open dentin tubules.


How pain occurs

Each of these stimuli produces a movement or disturbance of fluid in the dentin tubule (as shown by the arrows in the illustration). This change in fluid flow causes a pressure change within the dentin, which activates the intradental nerves causing a signal that is interpreted as pain.1

Introducing Arginine for Sensitivity Relief

Arginine is an amino acid naturally found in saliva

Research has revealed arginine provides naturally protective oral health benefits.5,6 Colgate has harnessed this knowledge and added arginine to oral care products to deliver proven antisensitivity benefits.


How Arginine Occludes Tubules

Latest research suggests arginine, which is positively charged at physiological pH, binds to the negatively charged dentin surface and helps attract a calcium rich layer to the dentin surface and into the dentin tubules to plug and seal them.


How Arginine Blocks Pain

Arginine triggers an occlusion of the dentin tubules that remains intact even after exposure to acids, preventing transmission of painproducing stimuli.


Clinically Proven to Deliver Instant and Lasting Sensitivity Relief After Single Application


  1. Addy M. Dentine hypersensitivity: new perspectives on an old problem. Int Dent J. 2002;52(Suppl 5):3367-3375
  2. Brännström M. A hydrodynamic mechanism in the transmission of pain-produced stimuli through the dentine. In: Sensory Mechanisms in Dentine. Anderson DJ, ed. pp 73-79. Pergamon Press. London, 1963.
  3. Brännström M., Johnson G. Movements of the dentine and pulp liquids on application of thermal stimuli. Acta Odontol Scand. 1970;28:59-70.
  4. Data on file, Colgate-Palmolive, 2008.
  5. Kleinberg I. A new saliva based anti-caries composition. Dent Today. 1999;18:98-103.
  6. Kleinberg I. Sensistat: A new saliva based composition for simple and effective treatment of dentinal sensitivity pain. Dent Today. 2002;21:42-47.
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May 2022 


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