Effectiveness of arginine-containing toothpastes in treating dentine hypersensitivity: A systematic review

Volume 41, Issue 6, June 2013, Pages 483–492




To evaluate by way of a systematic review the effectiveness of arginine-containing desensitising toothpastes in comparison to control agents in reducing dentine hypersensitivity.

Data sources

Electronic databases were searched including: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS (30/03/2012). Reference lists of eligible studies and systematic reviews were cross-checked in an attempt to identify additional studies. Strategies to identify grey literature were employed.

Study selection inclusion criteria

Controlled Clinical Trials (CCTs) and Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) comparing arginine-containing desensitising toothpastes to non-arginine-containing control toothpastes.
Two review authors independently screened the titles and abstracts of studies identified. Data collection forms were completed for included studies.


Changes in sensitivity to tactile and air-blast stimuli. A subjective assessment of sensitivity was also sought.


Data identified indicates a potential role for arginine-containing toothpastes in managing dentine hypersensitivity. However, this conclusion is based on small sample sizes and the studies identified did not follow patients up in the medium to long term. The authors recommend that there is a need for well-designed RCTs to be conducted prior to any definitive recommendations being made.

Clinical significance

Dentine hypersensitivity is a common condition. Its multi-factorial aetiology has led to several treatment modalities being advocated. The continued introduction of new desensitising agents suggests that no product has yet proven ultimately successful. Arginine-containing toothpastes have recently been introduced, this article systematically reviews the evidence relating to their effectiveness.


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