Sensodyne is a toothpaste and toothbrush marketed for individuals with sensitive teeth and/or dentine hypersensitivity. It is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline which acquired it in 2001 in the purchase of Block Drug which developed it.

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Facts

The root of the tooth, or the dentin, is made up of microscopic "tubules" or pores. In some people, the root becomes exposed because of gum recession or gingivitis. Because the tubules are porous, hot and cold sensations (from hot or cold foods or drinks) can reach the nerve endings easily; the nerves fire, causing a sensation of pain or sensitivity.

Sensodyne works because the potassium ions and fluoride penetrate the dentinal tubules and depolarize the nerve, which blocks pain transmission. According to Nickolson (2007), “a dentifrice for desensitizing dentinal hypersensitivity needs to be used for at least two weeks to have an effect, and continued use is needed to avoid relapse”.

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