Abstract The reported prevalence of cervical dentine sensitivity (CDS) ranges from 8 to 35%. Detailed epidemiology of the condition, particularly with regard to possible causal factors, is lacking. In particular, no published data appear to exist on its prevalence in periodontal patients. The aim of the present study was therefore to determine the prevalence, distribution and severity of CDS in a population of patients referred to a Periodontology Department of a specialist postgraduate hospital. 507 patients (181 M: 326F, mean age 44.2 (SD 10.31) years) attending a periodontal clinic were assessed for CDS by a questionnaire. The results demonstrated a prevalence of CDS of 84% with no significant gender difference. 71.1% of patients perceived cold as the most common cause of discomfort. A higher prevalence of self-reported discomfort was observed between 40 and 49 years. Of the patients with a reported history of periodontal surgery (34.7%), those treated within 6 months prior to assessment appeared to be more at risk to CDS. Of the patients who received hygienist treatment (88.2%). only 10.5% reported discomfort persisting ≥3 days after treatment. Generally, patients who complained of varying degrees of discomfort over time (84.5%) did not perceive the condition as severe and consequently did not seek treatment. The prevalence of CDS in these referred patients was very high, suggesting that periodontal diseases and/or treatment effects play a role in its aetiology.