Dentin Hypersensitivity: Management
Managing dentin hypersensitivity
- Observe patients’ subtle twinges during cleanings or other procedures
- Ask patients about symptoms
- Rule out other causes of pain, like caries and periodontal disease
- Increase patient awareness – they may be unaware that they’re using coping mechanisms such as changing how and what they eat and drink; avoiding brushing and even avoiding dental visits
- Help patients understand how sensitivity is impacting their behavior and quality of life
- Advise them on correct brushing technique and support them to avoid aggressive brushing
- Recommend a soft bristled toothbrush and to use a sensitivity toothpaste twice daily
- Recommend Sensodyne and encourage consistent twice daily use, even after pain has been reduced
Educating your patients
Patients should be educated on how to manage their dentin hypersensitivity through changes in lifestyle and daily oral hygiene habits. Recommendations could include:1
- Avoid aggressive toothbrushing
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and sensitivity toothpaste, twice daily
- Schedule regular dental appointments
Maintaining good oral hygiene is important for patients with dentin hypersensitivity. Patients can visit www.sensodyne.ca .
Sensitivity toothpastes can have different mechanisms of action2,3
Dentin tubule occlusion
Toothpaste formulations that form a robust layer over and within dentin tubules
Active ingredient example: Stannous Fluoride
The active ingredient in toothpaste formulation that decreases nerve excitability
Active ingredient example: potassium nitrate
Recurring dentin hypersensitivity and patient follow-up
Canadian Advisory Board guidelines for effective long-term management of dentin hypersensitivity recommend reassessing patients’ experience of pain at subsequent appointments. If they still experience dentin hypersensitivity pain they should be followed up and reviewed.2
Dentin hypersensitivity management: in summary2,3
Flowchart adapted from Canadian Advisory Board on Dentin Hypersensitivity, 2003.
Read the consensus-based recommendations for the diagnosis and management of dentin hypersensitivity.
SENSODYNE – #1 Dentist recommended brand for sensitive teeth4
Causes and mechanisms
Find out about the causes and mechanisms behind dentin hypersensitivity.
Impact on patient quality of life
Find out about the impact dentin hypersensitivity has on patients’ daily lives.