HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Singapore or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of International Conference on
Dentistry and Oral Health

March 25-27, 2024 | Singapore
Dental 2024

David Gillam

David Gillam, Speaker at Dental Conferences 2022
Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Title : The use of potassium salts in the treatment of dentine sensitivity


According to Orchardson and Gillam (2000) formulations containing potassium salts such as chloride, nitrate, citrate, oxalate) are widely used for treating dentine sensitivity (DS). Several reviews have, however questioned the efficacy of these products in treating DS (Orchardson and Gillam 2000, Cuhna-Cruz et al. 2013, Karim and Gillam 2014). The mechanism of action of desensitizing products is either by tubular occlusion or nerve desensitization, potassium ions have been reported to work (based on historical animal studies) by nerve desensitization and not by tubular occlusion. However, the combination of potassium with oxalate suggests that such combinations may have a dual role acting as both a nerve desensitizer (potassium) and oxalate as a tubular occludent. More recently, potassium oxalate has been formulated as a mouthwash and results from both in vitro and in vivo studies have indicated that the product acts as a tubular occludent in reducing DS (Sharma et al, 2013, Eliades et al. 2013, Lynch et al. 2018). Potassium releasing bioactive glasses (BAGs) have also been developed and subsequently may offer improved relief for DS in toothpaste formulations (Tiskai et al. 2021). The aim of this presentation is to provide clinicians with an overview of the use of potassium containing desensitizing products such as in toothpastes, mouthrinse with or within oxalate as well as evaluating their efficacy in the treatment of DS based on both in vitro and in vivo publications.

Audience Take Away:

  • Provide clinicians with an overview on the use of potassium salts in Dentistry (with reference to Dentine Sensitivity)
  • Provide clinicians with an overview of the mechanism(s) involved in Dentine Sensitivity
  • Provide evidence of the efficacy of potassium salts in the treatment of Dentine Sensitivity
  • Inform clinicians on the current recommendations for the treatment of Dentine Sensitivity


David Gillam graduated from Edinburgh Dental School in 1977 and has been involved in Dentistry over the last 40 years. He has worked in both clinical practice and in University Dental Hospitals as well as in Industry (1998-2001) initially with SmithKline Beecham and subsequently with Block Drug Company. From 2003 to 2008, he worked with a Clinical Research Organization and currently, he is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Periodontology at Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry QMUL in London (2009-). His main interests are in the area of the Management of Dentine Hypersensitivity and he has published over 85 papers on a number of dental topics as well as contributed to several book chapters.