Sensory transduction in human teeth with inflamed pulps

J Dent Res. 2011 May;90(5):678-82. doi: 10.1177/0022034510395022. Epub 2011 Jan 11.


The effects of pulpal inflammation on the sensitivity of dentin to cold (5°C) and negative hydrostatic pressure (-300 mm Hg) stimuli in man were compared, since recent evidence suggests that these stimuli excite different classes of sensory receptors. Dentin was exposed in premolars in 14 participants aged 15-25 years. Stimuli were applied to etched dentin immediately after cavity preparation and after the cavity had been filled with gutta percha for 7 days. This treatment increased significantly the intensity of pain produced by cold, and at the same time decreased that evoked by negative pressure stimuli. Pulpal blood flow was increased in the treated teeth, indicating that their pulps were inflamed. It is concluded that the sensory receptors responsible for the response to cold were probably sensitive to some change other than an outward flow of fluid in dentinal tubules, which would be caused by both forms of stimulus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bicuspid / physiopathology
  • Cold Temperature
  • Dental Cavity Preparation
  • Dental Pulp / blood supply*
  • Dental Restoration, Temporary / adverse effects
  • Dentin Sensitivity / etiology*
  • Dentin Sensitivity / physiopathology*
  • Gutta-Percha / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hydrostatic Pressure
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pulpitis / complications
  • Pulpitis / etiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Thermosensing
  • Young Adult


  • Gutta-Percha