Fourier-transform (FT)-Raman and -infrared (IR) spectroscopy were employed to investigate the function of the aqueous 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate/glutaraldehyde solution (Gluma) as a desensitizer. 2-Hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA), glutaraldehyde (GA), and the mixture of HEMA/GA (i.e. Gluma) were used to interact with dentin, collagen, hydroxyapatite (HAP), and bovine serum albumin (BSA) individually. All the interactions were monitored by an FT-Raman spectrometer. FT-IR spectroscopy was also used in this study. The results show that HEMA could be absorbed by dentin and collagen; GA could cross-link collagen and BSA; and when BSA was added to Gluma, polymerization of HEMA occurred. The results suggest that Gluma acts as a desensitizer whereby, first, GA reacts with part of the serum albumin in dentinal fluid, which induces a precipitation of serum albumin, then, second, a reaction of GA with serum albumin induces polymerization of HEMA. The function of Gluma as a desensitizer to block dentinal tubules occurs via these two reactions.