Dentine permeability and its role in the pathobiology of dentine sensitivity

David H. Pashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The classical hydrodynamic theory implicated fluid movement as a transducing mechanism in the production of dental sensitivity. This theory assumes that sensitive dentine must be permeable. Various measurements of dentine permeability are discussed, including: (1) factors that influence diffusive permeation across dentine; (2) factors that influence convective fluid movement across dentine; (3) osmotic activities of solutions; (4) comparison of evaporative and convective fluid movement; (5) the interaction between outward convective fluid flux on the inward diffusive flux of molecules; and (6) the importance of pulpal blood flow in the clearance of noxious substances from dentine and pulp, a balance concept. The variables involved in achieving good penetration of desensitizing agents in the presence of outward movement of dentinal fluid are also discussed, along with the presentation of a new hypothesis which emphasizes the importance of dentine as a dynamic physiological barrier that works in harmony with neurovascular elements in the pulp in an attempt to maintain the health of the pulp-dentine complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S73-S80
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - 1994


  • dentinal fluid
  • hydrodynamic theory
  • permeability
  • pulpal blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


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