Dentin hypersensitivity is a painful response to a non-noxious stimulus applied to exposed dentin. Two processes may expose dentin: loss of enamel and/or loss of cementum. Loss of enamel occurs by attrition associated with occlusal function, by abrasion from dietary components or incorrect toothbrushing, or by erosion associated with environmental or dietary components, particularly acids. Exposure of root dentin is also multifactorial. Periodontal disease with gingival recession, some forms of periodontal surgery, and overzealous brushing are important etiological factors that expose root dentin. In addition, in some individuals the cementum and enamel do not meet, exposing an area of dentin. The management of this condition requires a good understanding of the complexity of the problem as well as the variety of treatments available. Some authors report that lasers may provide reliable and reproducible treatment of dentin hypersensitivity. One concern for laser safety is that the heat produced at the irradiated root surface may diffuse to the pulp, causing irreversible pulpal damage. The protocols advocated today for laser-assisted treatment of hypersensitivity appear to be safe and effective.
Keywords: dentin hypersensitivity, laser treatment, low-output lasers, middle-output lasers, pulpal damage, treatment effectiveness