What's Causing My Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold?
By Patrick Casey on September 02, 2016
Tooth sensitivity from exposure to hot and cold foods and drinks can impact your quality of life and take the joy out of eating your favorite foods. While tooth sensitivity may occur in healthy teeth, it's often an indication of dental damage or gum recession, and a dental examination should be scheduled to determine if treatment is necessary. If treatment is needed, Drs. Charles and Patrick Casey offer a variety of restorative dentistry options. Restorative dentistry treatments are highly effective at treating many of the oral health issues responsible for tooth sensitivity, while also improving dental health. If you experience tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, we invite you to schedule a consultation at our Montreal, QC offices to discover your treatment options.
The Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity, or sudden sharp pains felt during exposure to hot or cold foods and drinks has many possible causes, including overuse of teeth whitening products, cracks within the enamel, enamel erosion, and gum recession. Damage to the enamel, loss of gum tissue, and excessive use of teeth whitening products can lead to tooth sensitivity as the inner dentin layer of the teeth becomes exposed. The dentin layer has microscopic tubes that lead to the inner structures of the teeth. As more dentin is exposed, outside factors, like temperature fluctuations, are allowed to reach the nerves within the teeth, increasing tooth sensitivity. If enamel loss or gum recession are ignored, they can cause serious damage, like tooth decay and abscesses, which in turn can lead to more severe tooth sensitivity.
How to Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is often an early indicator of an oral health problem and should not go ignored. Seeking dental intervention can help alleviate tooth sensitivity and prevent serious dental damage through appropriate dental treatment. If tooth sensitivity is caused by enamel erosion or cracked enamel, dental bonding treatment may be able to restore dental health. For those who experience tooth sensitivity as a result of gum recession, a gum tissue graft may be performed to restore the gum line and alleviate dental pain. If tooth sensitivity persists after treating underlying dental issues, your dentist may recommend additional methods for reducing tooth sensitivity, including:
- Using a sensitive formula toothpaste: Using a sensitive formula toothpaste regularly can help provide relief from the pain associated with dental sensitivity.
- Gently brush: Brushing the teeth with a hard-bristled toothbrush and heavy pressure can wear down the enamel, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity. Help protect the enamel and prevent tooth sensitivity by brushing gently and using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Avoiding acidic foods and drinks: Acidic foods and drinks increase the risk of enamel erosion and should be avoided to protect the teeth.
- Don't overuse teeth whitening treatments: Use teeth whitening products only as directed and allow the teeth sufficient time to recover after each treatment to prevent tooth sensitivity.
Schedule a Consultation
To discover the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity and to find out which treatments are right for your needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Drs. Charles and Patrick Casey.
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“I felt more like I was talking to a friend than I was to a dentist.” Nancy Lanzolla, Former Patient