Aim: The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of dentine hypersensitivity in a cross-sectional study of patients visiting general dental practitioners in the United Kingdom over a period of one calendar month.
Methods: Nineteen dental practioners examined 4841 patients over a period of one calendar month and patients that had dentine hypersensitivity diagnosed were questioned further about their occupation and smoking habits. The amount of buccal gingival recession associated with the sensitive teeth was also recorded using a study form.
Results: 201 patients were diagnosed as having dentine hypersensitivity, giving a prevalence figure of 4.1%. The commonest teeth affected were the upper premolar teeth and the commonest initiating factor was cold drinks. A tendency for a greater number of sensitive teeth was also found for patients with periodontal disease who also smoked. There was also a tendency for the patients with sensitive teeth to come from higher social groups.