Dentine hypersensitivity following periodontal treatment reduced by use of desensitising paste


Gingival recession, periodontal disease and periodontal treatment are associated with dentine hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity symptoms are often more intense immediately after periodontal treatment.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an in-office desensitizing paste containing 8% arginine and calcium carbonate in providing relief on dentine hypersensitivity immediately after scaling and root planing.


Healthy patients aged 18-70 with mild-moderate periodontitis and pre-existing dentine hypersensitivity requiring non-surgical periodontal treatment (scaling and root planing) were included.

Patients underwent full- mouth scaling and root planing in one session without using antibacterial products and all teeth evaluated for hypersensitivity. Patients were randomised to in-office application of either Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief® fluoride-free in- office desensitizing paste (test paste), containing 8% arginine and calcium carbonate (Colgate-Palmolive Co., New York, NY, USA) or Nupro pumice-based fluoride-free prophylaxis paste (control paste) (Dentsply Professional, York, PA, USA).

All hypersensitive teeth received two consecutive applications of the assigned paste, immediately followed by hypersentitivity testing using the Schiff Cold Air Sensitivity scale and a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).   Patients were provided with a 1450 ppm fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush for 6 weeks. Sensitivity testing was repeated at 2, 4, and 6 weeks. Periodontal measures full mouth plaque score (FMPS) (bleeding on probing (BOP), clinical attachment level (CAL), probing pocket depth (PD) and gingival recession (GR) were recorded at baseline and at 6 weeks. In addition GR was measured at 2 and 4 weeks.


  • 56 patients were randomised, 50 completed the study (25 per group).
  • Periodontal measurements (FMPS, BOP, CAL, PD) showed statistically significant reduction in both groups at 6 weeks.
  • Post application of the pastes there was a statistically significant improvement in both groups at all follow up points. However the test paste was significantly better that the control paste with the percentage difference between the two pastes shown in the table.
Schiff scale% Difference between groups Visual Analogue Scale% Difference between groups
Post application 38.9% 49.1%
2- weeks 45.9% 48.9%
4-weeks 47.4% 52.6%
6-weeks 57.7% 61.5%


The authors concluded

The single in-office application of the 8% arginine–calcium carbonate desensitizing paste after scaling and root planing pro- vided significant immediate reduction in dentine hypersensitivity. The significant desensitizing effect of the single in-office application of the 8% arginine–calcium carbonate desensitizing paste sustained over a 6-week period without relapse and the dentine hypersensitivity continued to get further reduced up to at least 6 weeks.

The study was funded by Colgate-Palmolive Company.


Earlier this week we looked at a review of toothpastes for dentine hypersensitivity (Dental Elf 20th Jan 2015). While that showed that most desensitising pastes were effective there was the suggestion that the arginine paste may be the most effective. Hypersensitivity following scale an polish is a frequent patient complaint and this small study tested an 8% arginine based paste against a standard prophylactic paste and found greater improvement with the arginine paste. It will be interesting to see id further studies confirm these results.


Pepelassi E, Rahiotis C, Peponi E, Kakaboura A, Vrotsos I. Effectiveness of an in-office arginine-calcium carbonate paste on dentine hypersensitivity in periodontitis patients: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. J Clin Periodontol. 2015 Jan;42(1):37-45. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12319. Epub 2014 Dec 26. PubMed PMID: 25269991.

Dental Elf – 20th Jan -2015 – Dentine hypersensitivity: most desensitising toothpastes provided benefit finds review

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