Limited evidence for the use of oxalates for treating dentine hypersensitivity


Dentine hypersensitivity is a troublesome  condition that results in sharp sudden burst of pain in response to thermal stimuli such as hot or cold foods, but may also arise from tactile stimuli such as use of  a toothbrush. Prevalence of the condition has been reported as high as 74% in some studies.

This 2011 review  by Cunha-Cruz et al which addressed the question;  Do oxalates reduce dentine hypersensitivity?  has just had a critical summary prepared under the auspices of the American Dental Association Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

The appraiser noted that  the reviewers had conducted  an exhaustive search but only a small number of studies (12) were found. He notes that the reviewers were also hampered by a lack of a gold standard for measuring dentine hypersensitivity and variation in follow up  times.   This together with variations in studies designs meant that there was substantial heterogeneity between the included studies.

Go to the  ADA-EBD summary in the JADA

Evidence-based Dentistry Journal commentary

Cunha-Cruz J, Stout JR, Heaton LJ, Wataha JC; Northwest PRECEDENT. Dentin hypersensitivity and oxalates: a systematic review. J Dent Res. 2011 Mar;90(3):304-10.

 Go to PubMed Central for free full text  of original article

Related reviews

Poulsen S, Errboe M, Lescay Mevil Y, Glenny AM. Potassium containing toothpastes for dentine hypersensitivity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001476. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001476.pub2.

He et al  –  Using lasers to treat dentine hypersensitivity suggests slight benefit


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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is the Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry, Editor of the Evidence-based Dentistry Journal, Consultant in Dental Public Health with Forth Valley Health Board and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Dundee & Glasgow Dental Schools. He helped to establish both the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry and the Evidence-based Dentistry Journal. He has been involved with teaching EBD and a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994.

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