How can sensitive dentine become hypersensitive and can it be reversed?

David H. Pashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper reviews a number of studies in oral biology and endodontics that deal with the reactivity of the pulpo-dentine complex in response to mechanical and immunological stimuli. It can be hypothesized that these reactions could also apply to changes in dentine sensitivity following periodontal procedures. Some of these changes involve neurogenic inflammation of the pulp under exposed open tubules; this increases the rate of outward fluid flow through the tubules, making the overlying exposed dentine more sensitive. Other changes may be due to inflammation-related nerve sprouting of pulpal nerves, which can lead to innervation of more tubules than normal. Changes may also involve upregulation of new, more sensitive ion channels in the membranes of these nerves. The goal of the paper is to increase awareness of the complex issues involved in dentine sensitivity, so that future investigators may develop agents or techniques to stimulate mechanisms that mitigate dentine sensitivity, or to block mechanisms that aggravate the condition, for therapeutic effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S49-S55
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue numberSUPPL. 4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Dentine sensitivity
  • Pulpal reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'How can sensitive dentine become hypersensitive and can it be reversed?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this