Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold: Causes and Solutions
At Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates, many patients who come into our office for routine general dentistry care complain of sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids. Their teeth might feel fine under normal circumstances, but when they go out for a refreshing gelato or take that first sip of coffee in the morning, they experience a sharp burst of pain in their mouths. This pain usually passes as quickly as it arrives, but it’s an annoyance nonetheless. And surely it means something, right?
Indeed, tooth sensitivity generally points toward a problem of some sort in the mouth. In order to diagnose the cause behind tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, our Wilmington, DE dentists first meet with patients to discuss their symptoms and then conduct a thorough exam of their mouths. In the vast majority of cases, once the underlying cause of the tooth sensitivity has been identified, an effective treatment plan can be prescribed and carried out.
If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, we urge you to contact Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates today. We can find a solution to your tooth sensitivity so that you can enjoy eating and drinking whatever you like once again.
Possible Causes of Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
There are a number of possible general causes of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, but they all boil down to one specific cause: exposed dentin. Dentin is the layer of a tooth that is protected by the enamel above the gum line and a protective layer called cementum under the gum line. When these protective layers are breached, whether due to erosion, trauma, gum disease, or some other cause, the far more delicate dentin layer is exposed. The dentin contains tiny hollow tubes that lead to nerves within the tooth. With these tubes now exposed, it is possible for hot and cold to reach the nerves, triggering sensitivity.
How Is Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Treated?
The proper treatment for tooth sensitivity to hot and cold depends entirely on the underlying cause. If the enamel wear has only just begun and is relatively minor, it may be possible to reduce sensitivity through in-office fluoride applications and the use of a special desensitizing toothpaste. Our dentists evaluate patients’ brushing techniques as over-vigorous brushing can damage tooth enamel and often contributes to tooth sensitivity to begin with.
If tooth sensitivity to hot and cold is the result of structural damage to a tooth – in the form of a chip or crack, for example – our dentists will repair that damage. The type of restoration used – a tooth-colored filling, an inlay, an onlay, or a dental crown – will depend on the extent of the structural damage.
In cases in which the tooth sensitivity to hot and cold is the result of a root canal infection or an exposed tooth root, oral surgery will be necessary. In these cases, our dentists would recommend root canal therapy and gum grafting, respectively.
Learn More about Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
If you would like to learn more about tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, please contact Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates today.
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