A study of nine different toothpastes revealed none of them proved effective in protecting tooth enamel, preventing erosion or symptoms of hypersensitivity.
“Research has shown that dentin must be exposed with open tubules in order for there to be hypersensitivity, and erosion is one of the causes of dentin exposure,” the study’s co-author Samira Helena João-Souza said. “This is why, in our study, we analyzed toothpastes that claim to be anti-erosive and/or desensitizing.”
The study, published in Scientific Reports, found each toothpaste caused a certain amount of surface enamel loss and that none of them were able to protect against erosion. What does help, the researchers said, is a combination of following a dentist’s prescribed course of treatment for enamel loss and altering lifestyle choices, especially diet.
“Dental erosion is multifactorial. It has to do with brushing, and above all, with diet,” João-Souza said. “Food and drink are increasingly acidic as a result of industrial processing.”
Dental erosion, according to the study, is a loss of hard tissue caused by acid and when it is associated with a mechanical action, like brushing, it leads to erosion. Those patients often feel discomfort in their teeth when they eat or drink something cold, hot or even sweet.
“They come to the clinic with the complaint that they have cavities, but actually, the problem is caused by dentin exposure due to improper brushing with (a) very abrasive toothpaste, for example, combined with frequent consumption of large amounts of acidic foods and beverages,” co-author Ana Cecília Corrêa Aranha said. “In our clinical work, we see patients with this problem in the cervical region between (the) gum and tooth. The enamel in this region is thinner and more susceptible to the problem.”
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