Dentin hypersensitivity

J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2012 Sep;12(3 Suppl):220-8. doi: 10.1016/S1532-3382(12)70043-X.


Context: In dental practice, dentin hypersensitivity is a commonly presenting condition, which consists of sharp pain arising from exposed dentin in response to a varied assortment of stimuli; for example, dietary factors, such as an ice-cold beverage, to even environmental considerations, such as the exposure to atmospheric air on a cold winter's day. The heterogeneity of this presentation, ranging from minor inconvenience to the patient, to a near incapacitating quality-of-life disturbance, as well as the wide range of treatment strategies, as is discussed in this article, certainly pose a challenge to the clinician.

Evidence acquisition: A search was performed on the MEDLINE database (2002 to present) by way of OVID. Search terms, such as dentin hypersensitivity and variants (eg, dentinal hypersensitivity, cervical dentin hypersensitivity) were used. Select references of review-type articles from the original search were sought.

Evidence synthesis: Efforts were made to identify multiple comparative clinical treatment studies that were of highest quality study design-specifically, randomized control trials. Efforts also were made to identify rigorous meta-analysis in the literature on the subject of dentin hypersensitivity treatment.

Conclusion: Although multiple treatment approaches appear to provide clinical success in managing dentin hypersensitivity, the entire body of clinical research literature is far from being unequivocal in pronouncing one superior strategy. Equally as important is the clinician's consideration of the predisposing factors that initially localized the lesion on the tooth surface. Together, personalized preventive measures and therapies focusing on disrupting pathophysiology form the core of effective dentin hypersensitivity management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dentin / physiopathology*
  • Dentin Permeability / physiology*
  • Dentin Sensitivity* / epidemiology
  • Dentin Sensitivity* / physiopathology
  • Dentin Sensitivity* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use*


  • Toothpastes