Sensitive tooth cervix following periodontal therapy...
PD Dr. Kristina Bertl, PhD MSc MBA
Experiencing cervical tooth sensitivity following periodontal therapy? Here’s what you can do about it! Non-surgical periodontal therapy can unfortunately entail a number of disadvantages, which are the sources of some complaints from our patients time and again. For example, they complain about the longer appearance of their teeth and/or about increased sensitivity of the exposed tooth cervix. Studies have shown that around 60 to 90% of our patients suffer from cervical tooth sensitivity in the period immediately following non-surgical periodontal therapy and that from a third up to a quarter of patients still suffer from cervical tooth sensitivity after 4 to 8 weeks (Lin et al. 2012).
This inevitably raises the question of whether it is possible to prevent this cervical tooth sensitivity that particularly occurs in the initial days or weeks following therapy. A research group from Thailand investigated this very question (Ongphichetmetha et al. 2022). In a randomized controlled clinical trial, they compared whether dentifrices that are particularly likely to alleviate cervical tooth sensitivity on the basis of their ingredients are also effective at reducing cervical tooth sensitivity following non-surgical periodontal therapy. The trial consisted of 45 patients who were all receiving non-surgical periodontal therapy and demonstrated cervical tooth sensitivity in the period immediately afterwards. The patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups (two test dentifrices, one control dentifrice):
- Sensodyne Repair & Protect
- Colgate Sensitive Pro-relief
- Control dentifrice
Before the participants left the dental practice, their teeth were polished with the relevant dentifrice and they then used the dentifrice twice a day for a period of eight weeks. Both test groups demonstrated a significant improvement in sensitivity immediately after their teeth were polished, and there also proved to be a number of benefits with Sensodyne Repair & Protect in the initial two weeks after the therapy. During the subsequent course of the study, the majority of participants again demonstrated significantly reduced sensitivity regardless of which dentifrice they were using.
The results of this study are not yet conclusive due to the rather low number of cases but one initial takeaway is that we can help at least some patients with this relatively simple measure!
- Lin YH, Gillam DG. The Prevalence of Root Sensitivity following Periodontal Therapy: A Systematic Review. Int J Dent. 2012;2012:407023. Ongphichetmetha N, Lertpimonchai A, Champaiboon C. Bioactive glass and arginine dentifrices immediately relieved dentine hypersensitivity following non-surgical periodontal therapy: A randomized controlled trial. J Periodontol. 2022;93:246–255.