Managing dentine hypersensitivity
Here we discuss different approaches for managing dentine hypersensitivity, including the consensus recommendations from the Canadian Advisory Board on dentine hypersensitivity, 2003.
Steps for managing dentine hypersensitivity
- Screen for dentine hypersensitivity and confirm with a differential diagnosis
- Increase patient awareness of the causes of dentine hypersensitivity
- Advise on lifestyle changes they can make to successfully manage the condition
- Along with appropriate advice, recommend or provide treatments to suit the individual needs of your patient
Educating your patients
Patients should be educated on how to manage their dentine hypersensitivity through changes in lifestyle and daily oral hygiene habits. Recommendations could include:1
- Instructing the patient on how to remove risk factors (e.g. excessive or ineffective toothbrushing)
- Removal of excessive dietary acids
Maintaining good oral hygiene is important for patients with dentine hypersensitivity.
The mechanism of action of sensitivity toothpastes
Recurring dentine hypersensitivity and patient follow-up
Canadian Advisory Board guidelines for effective long-term management of dentine hypersensitivity recommend reassessing patients’ experience of pain at subsequent appointments. If they still experience sensitivity pain they should be followed up and reviewed.2
Dentine hypersensitivity management: in summary2,3
Flowchart adapted from Canadian Advisory Board on dentine hypersensitivity, 2003.