Teeth: Dentine (The Middle Layer of the Tooth) Hypersensitivity 

What is Dentine Hypersensitivity?

It can be described as a sharp pain arising from exposed dentine in response to stimuli; typically thermal, evaporative, tactile, osmotic or chemical which cannot be related to any other form of dental cause. The most commonly described sensation of tooth sensitivity is sharp pain to cold food or drinks that would otherwise not be so sensitive. Of course biting into an ice cream would be cold to the majority of the population; often times if becomes very unbearable or an over exaggerated response. The culprit can in some cases be exposed dentine.

How Does Dentinal Hypersensitivity Occur?

  1. Open or Exposed dentine present due to loss of enamel or gingival recession
  2. Dentinal tubules must be open and in communication to both the oral cavity and the vital pulp

What Are The Signs and Symptoms Of Dentine Hypersensitivity: 


  • Visual (Exposed dentine)
    • Broken Fillings
    • Fractured Teeth
    • Worn Teeth


  • Short Sharp transient pain in response to cold
  • Touch
  • Evaporation
  • Chemical stimuli

How Common is Dentine Sensitivity?

  • 10-60% of adults -> [ 1/3 ]
  • Females more frequently than males
  • Predominately premolars and incisors

Treatment Options

1)     Elimination: Predisposing factors should be eliminated or modified which could cause erosion or damage to the teeth.

  • Intrinsic – Bulimia, Anorexia nervosa, Gastric reflux
  • Extrinsic – Diet => dietary analysis considering acidic drinks and foods.

2)     Oral Hygiene Education: Timing of Tooth-brushing

3)     Remineralizing Approach 

  • Desensitizing toothpastes
  • Desensitizing agents

4)     Invasive: In cases where dentine sensitivity cannot be controlled in a remineralizing apporach or if the tooth structure is damaged or weakening filling the defective area can done to help.

  • Restoration(s)


If you wish for more information on Dentine Sensitivity or have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact Skygate Dental today on (07) 3114 1199 or 0406 579 197.