This placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized clinical trial compared five 10% carbamide peroxide tooth whitening formulations. Three products contained varying concentrations of potassium nitrate as desensitizers. One contained no desensitizers and one was a placebo. During the two weeks of active bleaching, participants used a daily diary to record the number of days of sensitivity from hot, cold, gums, tongue and/or throat. The total number of days of sensitivity experienced by the participants in each group was compared. Participants using the agent with no desensitizers did not experience any more sensitivity than those using the agent containing 3% potassium nitrate. The products that included 0.5% potassium nitrate and 0.5% potassium nitrate and 0.25% sodium fluoride were not associated with any more sensitivity than the placebo group. In addition, the shade tab change from baseline to 11 weeks following cessation of bleaching was compared. Using an active bleaching agent, no difference in color change was noted among the four groups. All four groups were associated with significantly higher color change than the placebo. The addition of a small percentage of potassium nitrate to a 10% carbamide peroxide tooth whitener was shown to significantly reduce post-operative sensitivity without reducing efficacy.
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