Background: The aim of this in vivo study was to evaluate the effects of plaque control on the patency of dentinal tubules using vital teeth of beagle dogs. Methods: Class V cavities were prepared on the cervical areas of the mandibular and maxillary molars in each dog with a diamond point. To simulate the state of dentinal hypersensitivity, the teeth were etched with 50% citric acid for 2 minutes to obtain patent dentinal tubules. Plaque control was achieved by brushing the left-side teeth every day, whereas no plaque control was performed for the right-side teeth. A dentin biopsy was performed after 1, 2, and 3 weeks using the cylindrical diamond point to obtain dentin specimens. Results: In the plaque control group, some of the dentinal tubules were occluded with precipitate (Ca/P = 1.49), and the diameter of the dentinal tubules decreased from 2.42 ± 0.33 μm (mean ± SD) to 1.11 ± 0.51 μm after 7 days, although most of the dentinal tubules remained open. In contrast, no precipitate was observed in the dentinal tubules of the non-plaque control group. Also, the diameter of the dentinal tubules increased from 2.42 ± 0.33 to 2.9 ± 0.49 μm, due to the demineralization of the peritubular and intertubular dentin. Conclusion: Plaque control plays a key role in reducing the patency of dentinal tubules and, therefore might promote the natural repair of dentinal hypersensitivity.
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