Meta-analysis of the effects of desensitising toothpastes on dentine hypersensitivity

Dentine hypersensitivitiy, or sensitive teeth, are characterised by short and intense pain when the affected teeth are triggered by an external stimulus. This is a global health problem. As dentin hypersensitivity impacts not only the teeth, but also negatively affects the quality of life of patients, it is essential to use effective preventive measures. A large number of studies have already been conducted using various toothpastes with different active ingredients, but have not yet been brought together in a meta-analysis to investigate the efficacy of the various desensitising active substances.


How effective are different active substances used in toothpastes on the prevention of dentin hypersensitivity?

Materials and methods

A systematic electronic literature search of four scientific databases, along with a manual search, were performed to identify randomised studies with various desensitising actives used in oral care for the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity. The desensitising effect of these active substances was analysed after 2, 4 and 8 weeks. The network meta-analysis was performed on the basis of the international guidelines for conducting and reporting systematic reviews.


The evaluation of a total of 30 studies shows that oral care products containing hydroxyapatite are the most effective at reducing dentin hypersensitivity, even after 2 and 4 weeks. In comparison with other active substances which have been investigated, hydroxyapatite is found to be extremely effective. Furthermore, fluoride toothpastes without any addition of actives are least effective as placebo. 


Based on the results of the network meta-analysis, toothpastes containing hydroxyapatite can be recommended for the reduction and prevention of dentin hypersensitivity.

The published study can be read here.

Source: Hu, M. L. et al. Network meta-analysis on the effect of desensitizing toothpastes on dentine hypersensitivity. J Dent 88, 103170 (2019).