672 Prevalence of Dentin Hypersensitivity and Associated Risk Factors in Adults

Friday, March 23, 2012: 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Presentation Type: Oral Session
J. CUNHA-CRUZ, Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, M. ROTHEN, RCDRC School of Dentistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, J. WATAHA, Restorative Dentistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, L.J. HEATON, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, J. SCOTT, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, R.S. RADMALL, Northwest PRECEDENT, Private practice, Ogden, UT, J. BERG, Pediatric Dentistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and N.W. PRECEDENT, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Objective: Appropriate strategies for diagnosis and treatment of dentin hypersensitivity rely on concrete estimates of its prevalence, yet there is wide variation in its reported prevalence among adults.  Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of and risk factors for dentin hypersensitivity in general dental practices in the northwestern US.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 787 adult patients from 37 general dental practices within the Northwest PRECEDENT practice-based research network was conducted from September 2010 to May 2011. A diagnosis of dentin hypersensitivity was determined by asking patients on randomly selected half-days “Have you recently had pain, sensitivity, or discomfort in your teeth or gums?”  For positive responses, a clinical exam ruled out alternative causes of pain.  Patients rated pain using a 100 mm visual analog scale (VAS) after a one second air blast to the most sensitive tooth. Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) multiple binomial regression models were used to relate the prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity to patient characteristics.

Results: The prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity was 12.3%.  Patients with hypersensitivity had, on average, 3.5 [95%Confidence Interval (CI)=2.5-4.5] hypersensitive teeth and a VAS of 25 (95%CI=18-32); 11% very frequently felt uncomfortable due to the hypersensitive teeth whereas 84% felt uncomfortable occasionally. Prevalence of dentin hypersensitivity was higher among 18-44 years old adults when compared to 65+ years old adults [Prevalence Ratio (PR)=3.5; 95%CI=1.7-7.1]; among females when compared to males (PR=1.8, 95%CI=1.2-2.8); and in the presence of gingival recession (PR=5.4, 95%CI=2.9-10.0).

Conclusion: Prevalence of adult dentin hypersensitivity in Northwest PRECEDENT general practices was low. Dentin hypersensitivity patients were more likely to be younger adults and females and had a high prevalence of gingival recession. 

Submitted on behalf of Northwest PRECEDENT; NIDCR grants DE016750/DE016752.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source: NIDCR grants DE016750 and DE016752

Keywords: Dentin hypersensitivity and Pain