Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of dentine hypersensitivity and to examine some associated factors such as initiating stimuli among adult patients attending the Dental Clinic of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: All consecutive adult patients that presented at the oral diagnosis unit over a period of 13 months, from March 2003 to March 2004, were included in the study. Relevant history, such as nature of the pain, initiating stimulus, frequency of episode, interference with eating, drinking and toothbrushing were taken. Evidence of tooth surface loss was noted. Dentine hypersensitivity was confirmed clinically by the use of air blast from the air-water jet and scratching suspected surfaces with a dental probe. Results: Of the 2165 patients examined, 29 were diagnosed as having dentine hypersensitivity, giving a prevalence figure of 1.34%. The commonest teeth affected were the molars and the commonest initiating factor was cold water. Occlusal surfaces were most affected, followed by cervical surfaces. A male predominance was observed. Conclusion: A lower prevalence figure was found in the present study in comparison to earlier reported studies. The prevalence of dentine hypersensitivity is slightly lower in females, with female to male ratio of 1 to 1.42. Dentine hypersensitivity resulted in more severe disturbance when drinking water than when eating or brushing.
Keywords: abrasion, adults, attrition, dentine hypersensitivity, erosion