Does Your Patient Have Dentin Hypersensitivity?

Posted on October 9, 2013

Just how many of your patients have dentin hypersensitivity? A recent study suggests that for every 8 patients you and your team see, one has dentin hypersensitivity.

Researchers at the University of Washington performed a cross-sectional survey of 787 adult patients from 37 general dental practices within the Northwest Practice-based Research Collaborative in Evidence-based DENTistry.

Patients were asked about pain in their teeth and gingivae, and practitioner-investigators performed clinical examinations to rule out other causes for pain. Practitioner-investigators used a 1-second air blast to help patients identify pain levels.

Researchers found that the prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity was 12.3% and the condition was more common in women younger than 65 years who had receding gums or used at-home tooth whitening. On average, patients had 3.5 hypersensitive teeth. The prevalence was higher among 18- to 44-year-old patients than among those 65 years or older. The researchers observed no connection with obvious occlusal trauma, noncarious cervical lesions, or aggressive toothbrushing habits.

Reference: Cunha-Cruz J, Wataha JC, Heaton LJ, et al; Northwest Practice-based Research Collaborative in Evidence-based DENTistry. The prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity in general dental practices in the northwest United States. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013;144(3):288-296.

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