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 a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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