June 11, 2020
It’s a common enough occurrence. You bite into your ice cream or take a sip of your morning coffee and feel that dreaded pain around your teeth. It constantly makes it difficult for you to enjoy some of your favorite treats. This is a condition that affects millions of Americans. According to a study done by the American Dental Association, approximately 12% of adults experience frequent sensitivity in their teeth or gums. Your emergency dentist can help you determine what is causing you to feel this discomfort and share how you can lessen it.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive to Hot and Cold?
There are many potential causes of your temperature sensitivity. The most common is dentin exposure. Dentin is the layer of material that is directly beneath the enamel of your teeth. When the enamel gets worn down or your gums start to recede, the dentin becomes exposed. The nerve endings within the dentin are extremely sensitive, so when the protective layer wears away, you will likely feel discomfort when eating hot or cold foods.
Temperature sensitivity could also be a sign that something more serious is going on. Here are a few possible underlying causes:
- Tooth decay
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Fillings that need to be replaced
- Gum disease
Talk to your dentist if you have new or worsening sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or think you could have any of these problems.
What Can I Do to Reduce Teeth Sensitivity?
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: Using a hard or medium-bristled toothbrush can wear down the surface of the teeth, especially if you are brushing vigorously. By using a softer brush, your enamel and gums are less likely to become damaged.
- Change your toothpaste: If you’re currently using a toothpaste that is intended to whiten your teeth, it could be making your sensitivity worse. Instead, try a toothpaste that is specially made for people who have sensitive teeth. It may take several weeks for you to notice improvement after you’ve switched toothpastes.
- Watch what you eat: Foods that have higher levels of acidity can aggravate sensitive teeth. This includes tomatoes, lemons, and oranges.
- Rule out other causes: A few other things that can increase sensitivity are gingivitis, bruxism (teeth grinding), and whitening treatments.
If you have teeth sensitivity that is causing you a lot of discomfort, give your dentist a call. Together, you can get to the root of the problem and find a solution.
About the Practice
At Katy Family Dentists, Dr. Thanh Truong and Dr. Joey Hall provide quality care in a friendly and relaxing dental practice. Dr. Truong earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Louisiana State University and stays involved with the Academy of General Dentistry, DentalXP, and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Dr. Hall completed his dental training at the University of Texas Dental School at Houston and is involved in numerous local dental organizations and study clubs. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (281) 398-3432.
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