Tooth sensitivity is unpleasant, particularly when the discomfort happens on a recurring basis. If you experience tooth sensitivity when consuming hot and cold foods and drinks, the discomfort may be temporary or chronic. In the case of short-lived sensitivity, patients may wish to undergo restorative dentistry treatment to protect the tooth and dental nerves thereby reducing discomfort when eating. At TM Prosthodontics, our dentists can determine the cause of your discomfort, and then recommend the appropriate lifestyle changes and dental treatments to reduce tooth sensitivity to hot and cold substances.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
Tooth sensitivity is based on the dental nerves becoming exposed. If nerves become exposed, outside stimulation such as food and water can trigger tooth sensitivity.
The tooth’s nerves may become exposed as a result of:
- Enamel Erosion. The protective layer of the crown, the enamel, can wear down. This occurs when patients regularly consume acidic foods and drinks, suffer from bruxism, or fail to maintain good oral health.
- Gum recession. The gums can recede as a result of gum disease, bruxism, and aggressive tooth brushing habits.
- Teeth whitening. Teeth whitening treatment temporarily exposes the dental nerves. Discomfort should subside within a few days.
- Bacterial acids can damage the tooth structure.
- An accident or chronic teeth grinding can result in tooth fracture.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce-Sensitivity
- Prescription toothpaste or mouthwash for sensitive teeth.
- Avoid highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits and juices.
- Make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Apply medium to light pressure when brushing the teeth.
- Stop eating and drinking extremely hot or cold food drinks.
Dental Treatments to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
If changes to your oral health care regimen do not provide enough relief, we may consider the following treatment options:
- Prescriptions toothpaste or mouthwash for sensitive teeth.
- The application of a desensitizing agent to the teeth.
- The use of porcelain veneers or dental bonding on front teeth that have experienced enamel wear.
- The use of dental bonding or crowns on back teeth that have suffered enamel erosion.
- Composites or gum grafts to treat gum recession.
- Dental fillings for cavities and fractures.
The treatment that is right for you depends on the cause of your tooth sensitivity. At TM Prosthodontics, we will discuss your level of discomfort. We will also examine your dental X-rays, teeth and gums to check for signs of dental problems.Contact us today to schedule your appointment.