Effect of theobromine-containing toothpaste on dentin tubule occlusion in situ

Bennett T. Amaechi, Sapna M. Mathews, Poornima K. Mensinkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: Dentin hypersensitivity (DH) is treated by either occlusion of dentin tubules or nerve desensitization. This in situ study compared dentin tubules occlusion by theobromine-containing dentifrices with (Theodent-classic-F®, TCF) and without (Theodent-classic®, TC) fluoride with 1,500 ppm fluoride toothpaste, Colgate®-Regular (Fluoride) and Novamin®-containing toothpaste, Sensodyne®-5000-Nupro (Novamin®).

Methods: Each subject wore four intraoral appliances bearing dentin blocks while using one of four test dentifrices (n = 20/dentifrice) twice daily for 7 days. The four appliances were removed successively after 1, 2, 3, and 7 days. Treated blocks and their control (untreated) blocks were examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Effects were compared statistically (ANOVA/Tukey’s) based on percentage of surface area covered by deposited precipitate layer (%DPL) and percentage of fully open (%FOT), partially occluded (%POT), and completely occluded (%COT) tubules in each block calculated relative to the number of tubules in their control blocks.

Results: SEM observation indicated an increased %COT and %DPL over time. After 1 and 2 days, %COT was comparable with TC and TCF, and significantly (p < 0.05) higher compared with Novamin® and Fluoride. Following 3 and 7 days, %COT was comparable among TC, TCF, and Novamin®, but remained significantly lower in Fluoride. At any time, %DPL was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in TC, TCF, and Novamin® compared with Fluoride.

Conclusions: Theobromine-containing toothpastes with and without fluoride have equal potential in occluding dentin tubules within a shorter time period than Novamin®-containing toothpaste; however, the three demonstrated equal potential after 1 week, but not the fluoride toothpaste.

Clinical relevance: Theobromine-containing toothpaste promoted dentin tubule occlusion thus shows potential to relief DH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Dentifrice
  • Dentin hypersensitivity
  • Novamin®
  • Theobromine
  • Theodent
  • Tubule occlusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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