Relieving Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
By Dr. Ribeiro on December 10, 2016
When tooth sensitivity to hot and cold is severe, it can make daily activities, like eating and drinking painful. Although tooth sensitivity can occur in healthy teeth, in many cases, it's a sign of dental damage and should be examined by a dentist. General dentistry treatments from Dr. Richard C. Ribeiro can help treat the underlying cause of tooth sensitivity for improved oral health and comfort. To find out which treatments can help relieve your tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, contact Dr. Ribeiro's Clarksville, TN practice to schedule a consultation.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold?
Tooth sensitivity is often recognized by sudden, sharp pains felt when the teeth come into contact with hot or cold foods and drinks. Even breathing cold air may cause dental pain. The teeth may feel sensitive to hot and cold due to one or more of the following causes:
- Enamel erosion from acid exposure or wear
- Cracks within the enamel
- Overuse of whitening products
- Gum recession
- Exposure of the inner dentin layer
- Tooth decay
Treatments to Relieve Tooth Sensitivity
In order to relieve the symptoms of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, it's important to determine the underlying causes through a thorough dental examination. Dental exams are essential for pinpointing the cause of sensitivity so appropriate treatment may be provided. Treatment may include:
- Tooth-colored dental fillings: Sensitivity caused by dental cavities may be treated with tooth-colored dental fillings.
- Gum tissue graft: When gum recession is identified as the cause of tooth sensitivity, a gum tissue graft may be necessary to restore lost gum tissue and relieve tooth sensitivity.
- Dental restorations: Minor cracks within the enamel may be treated with dental restorations, including porcelain veneers and dental bonding. Severe cracks can often be treated with dental crowns.
Alleviating Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Tooth sensitivity that persists after receiving dental treatment may be alleviated in the following ways:
- Switching to a sensitive formula toothpaste: Switching to a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth can help alleviate tooth sensitivity over time and when used regularly.
- Avoiding extremely hot or cold foods: Avoid exposing the teeth to temperature extremes, like taking a bite of steaming hot food and immediately washing it down with an icy cold drink, to reduce the frequency and severity of tooth sensitivity.
- Avoiding acidic foods and drinks: Acidic foods and drinks, like citrus fruits and coffee, can cause the enamel to erode, increasing tooth sensitivity and the risk of tooth decay. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks can help protect the enamel from erosion.
- Using gentle pressure when brushing: Using too much pressure or a hard-bristled toothbrush can wear away the enamel, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity. Protect the enamel by switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and using light pressure while brushing.
- Avoiding overuse of teeth whitening products: Overusing teeth whitening products can strip minerals away from the enamel, causing the teeth to feel sensitive to hot and cold. Use teeth whitening products only as directed to avoid overuse.
Discover Your Treatment Options
To learn more about your treatment options for tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ribeiro.
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“Dr. Ribeiro has been my dentist for many years, and he has always provided exceptional service. His staff is very professional and courteous. They always go out of their way to ensure I have a pleasant experience.” Tina Reed