Well-established and clinically proven: hydroxyapatite is effective in reducing dentin hypersensitivity

Dentin hypersensitivity can have several reasons. In all cases, patients suffer from pain when exposed to hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks. There are a number of suggested treatment options that can also be easily incorporated into at-home oral care. This includes mineral salts, which are found in several toothpastes (potassium salts or strontium salts). The use of hydroxyapatite toothpastes is also being recommended to an increasing extent for this condition. The exposed dentinal tubules are sealed with hydroxyapatite particles during brushing, thus being more effective in reducing dentin hypersensitivity than other actives.


How effective is hydroxyapatite on sensitive teeth compared with two other toothpastes specially formulated to treat dentin hypersensitivity?

Materials and methods

This double-blind study compared a total of eight different oral care products. In total, 140 test subjects aged between 20 and 60 were recruited. Various tests were performed on all participants at the beginning and end of the study. This included tests for touch, cold, heat, sweet/sour and air-blast. The study duration was 4 weeks. All test subjects completed a questionnaire every day in which they provided their subjective perception on dentin hypersensitivity.


Figure 1: Dentin tubule surrounded by dentin, consisting of organic (mainly collagen) and inorganic (hydroxyapatite) components.
Figure 1: Dentin tubule surrounded by dentin, consisting of organic (mainly collagen) and inorganic (hydroxyapatite) components.

The results of this study showed an improvement in dentin hypersensitivity in over 90% of test subjects who used a hydroxyapatite toothpaste. A significant improvement was observed after 3–5 days, in particular in those patients with a pre-existing long-term case history.


Hydroxyapatite, particularly in the form of small crystals with a diameter of approx. 2 μm, is highly effective in the treatment of sensitive teeth. An improvement can be observed even after a short application period.

The published study can be read here.

Source:  Huettemann, R. W. and H. Doenges “Untersuchungen zur Therapie überempfindlicher Zahnhälse mit Hydroxylapatit [Investigations for treating hypersensitive necks of teeth with hydroxyapatite].” Dtsch. Zahnärztl. Z. 42: 486-488 (1987).