Journal of Clinical Periodontology

Validation of a Cumulative Hypersensitivity Index (CHI) for dentine hypersensitivity severity


  • Conflict of interest and source of funding statement

    The authors confirm there are no conflicts of interest. This study was funded internally.



This study developed the Schiff Index into a Cumulative Hypersensitivity Index (CHI) to measure dentine hypersensitivity (DH) severity per subject. It validates this score by investigating if it compares to one comprising a percentage score from all tooth surfaces and as a highest score per subject.

Materials and methods

Overall, 350 subjects were recruited from hospital and general practice in south-east England. Buccal, occlusal and oral Schiff Index scores were collected and percentages calculated based on scores 1, 1 and above, 2 and above and 3. CHI scores and highest Schiff Index scores were also recorded per subject. Spearman correlation coefficients (p-values) assessed the relationship between CHI scores, Schiff Index percentages and Schiff Index highest per subject.


In subjects with a Schiff Index score of 1 or more on at least one tooth surface (indicating DH was present), correlation of the CHI score to the Schiff Index percentage score was 0.982 (p < 0.001). Correlation of the sextant score to the highest Schiff Index score per subject was 0.963, (p < 0.001). DH was more likely on tooth surfaces with gingival recession (p < 0.001) and without bleeding on probing (p < 0.01).


This study has validated a novel CHI score to indicate DH severity per subject and may help guide clinical management.