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Etiology, mechanisms, and management of dentine hypersensitivity.

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Department of Prosthodontics and Periodontology, University of Bristol Dental School, UK.


Dentine hypersensitivity is a common painful condition of the teeth for which little is known of the etiology and predisposing factors. This tends to compromise management, and recurrence of the condition is frequent. Abrasive and erosive factors, by their effects on enamel and gingiva, are important in localizing sites of exposed dentine. Erosive agents are probably responsible for initiating sensitivity by opening dentinal tubules. Management should not only be treatment based. First, a differential diagnosis should be considered. Then, etiologic and predisposing factors should be identified and where possible removed, reduced, or modified. Treatments are largely aimed at blocking the hydrodynamic mechanism for stimulus transmission across dentine by occluding dentinal tubules. There is a need for further research into understanding the condition itself, its etiology, and the mode of action of the large number of varied but apparently effective therapeutic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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