Title: The impact of dentine hypersensitivity on the quality of life: An overview
Dentine Hypersensitivity (DH) is a recognised clinical condition that is somewhat enigmatic in nature and impacts on the QoL of those who suffer from the problem. It is therefore imperative that clinicians not only identify and diagnose DH, but also be aware of the impact of DH on their patients’ QoL during their day-to day activities. One of the problems facing investigators when evaluating the actual impact of DH on the QoL is the differences between the patient’s and clinician’s perception on the extent and severity of the problem. The use of QoL questionnaire (patient/person centred) studies therefore have been utilized in clinical studies to consider the effect of DH on the QoL of those individuals with the problem on a day- to-day basis using QoL measures such as the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14 or OHIP-49) or the Dentine Hypersensitivity Experience Questionnaire (DHEQ). Clinicians should also be aware that dental procedures such as ultrasonic cleaning, air from dental air syringes may also be unpleasant for patients with DH and may cause considerable stress to an already anxious patient. It is therefore important to alleviate this stress whenever possible by providing the relevant information regarding these procedures in a relaxed and reassuring manner. The application of a desensitizing polishing paste or varnish together with a recommendation of a suitable desensitizing toothpaste or mouthwash may also benefit the patient following the procedures. The patient should also be reassured that any symptoms from these dental procedures may be transient and will resolve within one week. The clinician should also stress the importance of continuing professional oral care, together with the relevant information to the patient on maintaining good oral health (including recommendations on dietary intake and modification of any overzealous toothbrushing techniques) to successfully managing the impact of DH and improve the patient’s QoL during their daily activities. The aim of this short overview is to update clinicians on the impact of dentine hypersensitivity (DH) on the QoL of those suffering from this troublesome clinical condition and provide recommendations for reducing or eliminating the impact of DH and the QoL of those individuals who suffer from the condition.