Author(s): Orchardson R, Gillam DG
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The objective of this review is to inform practitioners about dentin hypersensitivity (DH) and its management. This clinical information is described in the context of the underlying biology. TYPES OF STUDIES REVIEWED: The authors used MEDLINE to find relevant English-language literature published in the period 1999 to 2005. They used combinations of the search terms "dentin*," "tooth," "teeth," "hypersensit*," "desensiti*" and "desensitiz*." They read abstracts and then full articles to identify studies describing etiology, prevalence, clinical features, controlled clinical trials of treatments and relevant laboratory research on mechanisms of action. RESULTS: The prevalence of DH varies widely, depending on the mode of investigation. Potassium-containing toothpastes are the most widely used at-home treatments. Most in-office treatments employ some form of "barrier," either a topical solution or gel or an adhesive restorative material. The reported efficacy of these treatments varies, with some having no better efficacy than the control treatments. Possible reasons for this variability are discussed. A flowchart summarizes the various treatment strategies. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: DH is diagnosed after elimination of other possible causes of the pain. Desensitizing treatment should be delivered systematically, beginning with prevention and at-home treatments. The latter may be supplemented with in-office modalities.
This article was published in J Am Dent Assoc
and referenced in Dentistry