The present investigation evaluated the ability of an experimental di-calcium phosphate (DCP) desensitising agent used alone or combined with phytosphingosine (PHS) to occlude dentine tubules and resist a citric acid (CA) or artificial saliva (AS) challenge. Three groups of human dentine specimens (DS) were treated with the following: (1) PHS alone, (2) DCP or (3) a combination of PHS and DCP. Dentine hydraulic conductance of DS was evaluated using a digital flow sensor at 6.9 kPa. The average fluid volume for each of the treated DS was used to calculate the total dentine permeability reduction (%P) prior to and following CA immersion for 1 min or AS immersion for 4 weeks. The treated DS were subjected to both scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analysis. Statistically significant differences (%P) were identified between the groups by ANOVA and Fisher's multiple comparison test (p < 0.05), respectively. Interestingly, both PHS and DCP appeared to work synergistically. DS treated with DCP or PHS/DCP demonstrated a significant reduction (%P) prior to and following CA or AS challenge (p < 0.05). Both the SEM and FTIR analyses showed consistent brushite crystals occluding the dentine tubules. Conversely, the application of PHS alone failed to demonstrate any significant reduction of dentine permeability (p > 0.05) or show any evidence of occlusion of the dentine tubules. DCP can be used alone or combined with PHS to decrease the dentine permeability as well as to resist a CA and AS challenge. These results would, therefore, suggest that DCP may be a suitable treatment option for dentine hypersensitivity.

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