Last year we looked at a number of studies that looked at the effectiveness of various toothpastes in reducing dentine hypersensitivity (Dental Elf 30th October 2012). The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of arginine-containing desensitising toothpastes in comparison to control agents in reducing dentine hypersensitivity (DH). The aetiology of DH is usually reported as multifactorial and while this review focuses on the use of arginine containing pastes it also provides a useful table of the various desensitizing agent together with the mechanism of action.
The reviewers searched the Medline, Cochrane Central, Embase and Lilacs databases for randomised and controlled clinical trials. The primary outcome considered was change in pain/sensitivity reported by tactile and air-blast stimuli. Study selection, data extraction, quality assessment and risk of bias assessment was conducted independently in duplicate.
- Only two studies involving 243 patients in total were included.
- Both studies were conducted by the same team.
- One study was of 3 days duration the other of 8 weeks.
- Both studies reported greater improvement in DH with the arginine paste.
The authors concluded
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.
Sharif MO, Iram S, Brunton PA. Effectiveness of arginine containing toothpastes in treating dentine hypersensitivity: A systematic Review. J Dent. 2013 Jan 31. doi:pii: S0300-5712(13)00027-4. 10.1016/j.jdent.2013.01.009. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23376174.
Dental Elf 30th Oct 2012 – Trial shows improvements in dentine hypersensitivity with different toothpastes
As a disclaimer, I work for Colgate. I am disappointed to see this type of information conveyed without a more complete and thorough review of the literature including sponsored and non-sponsored research conducted by Colgate and our competition. These studies clearly demonstrate the efficacy of the product and support all claims as to efficacy. I would be happy to further and clarify if that would be beneficial
The review by Sharif et al refereed to in this blog conducted a detailed search of four large databases to identify and randomised controlled trials to test the efficacy of arginine toothpastes. In addition they also conducted searches of the World Health Organization’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, the Current Clinical Trials Register and the Clinical Trials.gov databases were searched to identify any ongoing trials. I consider this to be a robust search of the literature and yet only two randomised controlled trial were identified.
As indicated I believe there are additional published studies that were not included in the search. That information needs to be considered in order to ensure that readers are being exposed to all available data. If the readers type in “arginine toothpaste” into Pub Med over 30 relevant references would appear. The vast majority have been peer reviewed.
The flow diagram which is clearly presented in the review shows that the authors have reviewed 100 titles and screened 69 studies before just including the two randomised trials
That is correct and I am not criticizing their work but just want your readers to be well informed when they are making decisions and recommendations rather than relying on one source which may have not included some important research due to the limits they placed on their search.
devizio, you raise an important point. It is essential that, in order to make informed decisions about health care, all of the relevant research data is fully disclosed in a transparent way.
Can you point us towards these studies so that they can be evaluated?
As indicated above type “arginine toothpaste” into PubMed search engine. Thank you for your consideration
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