Measurement of tooth hypersensitivity and oral factors involved in its development

I. Kleinberg, H. W. Kaufman, M. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The various methods of measurement of dentinal hypersensitivity are based upon the types of stimuli used to elicit a pain response in teeth, which include thermal, tactile, evaporative, electrical and osmotic. Pulpal inflammation in its early stages may reduce the threshold of pain response to these stimuli but electrical stimulation may make it possible to assess the possible contribution of such inflammation to sensitivity determinations. Although the magnitude of each stimulus is quantifiable, patient response is subjective, which necessarily makes measurements of dentinal sensitivity semisubjective. Various methods of testing dentinal sensitivity are discussed, along with their advantages and disadvantages. The teeth most suited for measurement in clinical studies are the canines and premolars. This is because approx. 80% of the sensitivity lesions are associated with these teeth, which have similar thicknesses of root dentine. Data from several studies involving the same subjects indicate that individual measurements readily return to baseline and that the commonly seen placebo effect is probably due to some as yet unidentified factor in desensitizing formulations. Possible roles of salivary and plaque environmental factors in the development of dentinal sensitivity are discussed, as well as methods for their measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S63-S71
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1994


  • demineralization-remineralization
  • dentinal fluid
  • hypersensitivity
  • pain measurement
  • salivary precipitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Measurement of tooth hypersensitivity and oral factors involved in its development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this