Study finds high levels of dentine hypersensitivity in young European adults


Dentine hypersensitivity (DH) and various treatments have been used to treat the condition (Dental Elf 17th July).  Epidemiological studies have produced prevalence figures for this ranging from 1.34% to 98% so the objective of this study, was to determine by clinical examination combined with a questionnaire, the prevalence of DH in 18–35 years old Europeans and gain knowledge of the important risk factors for DH, in order to give appropriate preventive advice and treatment

Using a multi-stage stratified sampling method a representive sample of adults aged 18-35 was collected in 7 European countries (Estonia, Finland, Latvia, France, Italy, Spain and UK). A standard clinical examination was undertaken by calibrated examiners DH was evaluated by cold air tooth stimulation, patient pain rating (yes/no), accompanied by investigator pain rating (Schiff 0-3). Erosive toothwear (BEWE index 0-3) and gingival recession (mm) were recorded. Patients completed a questionnaire regarding the nature of their DH, erosive dietary intake and toothbrushing habits.

  • 3187 adults were recruited from 7 countries (Estonia 122; Finland 344; France 700; Italy 675; Latvia 342; Spain 304; United Kingdom 700).
  • The mean number of teeth scored for DH was 23.4 (range 8–24)
  • 41.9% of patients reported pain on tooth stimulation and 56.8% scored ≥1 on Schiff scale for at least one tooth.
  • Clinical elicited sensitivity was closely related to Schiff score and to a lesser degree, questionnaire reported sensitivity (26.8%), possibly reflecting the transient nature of the pain, alongside good coping mechanisms.
  • Significant associations were found between clinically elicited DH and erosive toothwear and gingival recession.
  • The questionnaire showed marked associations between DH and risk factors including heartburn/acid reflux, vomiting, sleeping medications, energy drinks, smoking and acid dietary intake.

The authors concluded

Overall, the prevalence of DH was high compared to many published findings, with a strong, progressive relationship between DH and erosive toothwear, which is important to recognise for patient preventive therapies and clinical management of DH pain.




West NX, Sanz M, Lussi A, Bartlett D, Bouchard P, Bourgeois D. Prevalence of dentine hypersensitivity and study of associated factors: A European population-based cross-sectional study. J Dent. 2013 Aug 1. doi:pii: S0300-5712(13)00190-5. 10.1016/j.jdent.2013.07.017. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed  PMID: 23911597.

Dental Elf – 17th July 2013 – Study suggests that use of dentine bonding agents provides the greatest improvement in dentine hypersensitivity at 2 weeks and 6 months

Share on Facebook Tweet this on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+