Dentinal hypersensitivity is a common problem that effects many dental patients. When a patient presents with dentinal hypersensitivity symptoms, they should be examined and informed of the treatment options available to alleviate the problem. The patient plays a role in this process since their daily habits may be contributing to the problem, and if not changed the condition may persist.
The initial cause of dentinal hypersensitivity, in the majority of cases, is recessed gingiva with the exposure of dentinal tubules. Once the tubules are exposed the patient is susceptible to pain in response to thermal, tactile, or osmotic stimuli. Desensitizing treatments should be delivered systematically.
Prevention and over-the-counter treatments, including desensitizing toothpastes, are a good place to start and can later be supplemented with in-office treatments if needed.