Are Your Teeth Sensitive to Heat or Cold? Here’s Why That Happens

If you’re like most people, you truly enjoy a nice cold dish of ice cream or a freshly scooped ice cream cone no matter what time of year it is. However, few things are more unpleasant than taking a big bite of your favorite ice cream and experiencing sudden tooth pain as a result. Or perhaps you love starting your day with a just-brewed cup of hot coffee but have lately been noticing that your teeth have become increasingly sensitive to hot temperatures. Millions of Americans experience this condition, and the good news is that it’s almost always treatable. Here’s why tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures happens and what you can do about it:

Tooth enamel wears down over time, and because it provides a protective cover for the interior of the teeth, tooth sensitivity can occur.

Cracks in the Surface of the Tooth Enamel

One of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity is small cracks in the enamel that you may not have even noticed. These cracks allow hot and cold sensations to seep through the enamel to the underlying nerves.

Worn Enamel

Worn enamel is another possible culprit when tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures is a part of the picture. This is a normal part of aging and is usually mild.

What You Can Do for Tooth Sensitivity

Many people find they are able to get relief from minor tooth sensitivity by using an enamel-building toothpaste. Be sure to choose one that’s recommended by the American Dental Association, and ask your dentist to recommend one if you’re unsure of which one to use. You can also switch to a brand of toothpaste designed for use on sensitive teeth as well as use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Should You See a Dentist

Tooth sensitivity that persists or that turns into pain means you’re due for a visit to your dentist. This could be an indication that the inner pulp has somehow become infected. When this happens, the usual remedy is a root canal. Fortunately, advances in modern dentistry mean that today’s root canal procedures are less uncomfortable than their counterparts of the past.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience for more information on dental health issues or to set up an appointment.

 

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