Ouch! Skinny on Tooth Sensitivity: Hot or Cold

Summer is finally here, and the hottest season of all brings some of the most deliciously delectable treats with it. Alongside fresh peaches, melons, and veggies come the ubiquitous ice cream, frozen yogurt, and smoothies. Of course, enjoying these cold treats can be a real pain when your teeth are overly sensitive to cold!

In fact, temperature sensitivity is the number one leading cause of dental visits worldwide. Nobody likes a sudden change in how their teeth feel, especially if that comes with pain when eating such tasty treats!

So what causes temperature sensitivity in teeth? There are several common root causes of toothaches. The first and most common issue is that many patients are brushing their teeth too hard! While it may seem difficult to believe, patients who take care of their teeth by brushing may actually be damaging the enamel of the tooth when applying too much pressure, exposing the underlying dentin and nerve bundle that react to temperature changes in the tooth.

Another common cause of increased tooth sensitivity is tartar, or plaque, buildup on the gum line. Plaque is an accumulation of food, saliva, and ultimately, bacteria that feed off of the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities and sensitivity. Also, receding gums or periodontal disease, both caused by too much brushing and inadequate dental care, can also cause tooth sensitivity.

The bad news is that tooth sensitivity is no fun to have and can be indicative of a deeper underlying problem, like cavities or gum disease. The good news is that those cases are relatively rare and tooth sensitivity cannot only be managed, but also goes away on its own a good portion of the time.

Still, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your teeth. After all, you only have one set of chompers for the rest of your life. So, if you are experiencing pain that is higher than a 3 or 4 on the pain scale, tooth sensitivity that lingers for more than 15 minutes after eating, or an aching or throbbing pain in your teeth, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. These are all signs of a more serious problem that only a certified specialist, like Dr. Bui at Redstone Dental Center, can treat.

Treatments for tooth sensitivity include fluoride protective treatments, deep cleaning and tooth scaling, as well as fillings. These are all quick, relatively painless procedures that dentists do every single day. Keep an eye on the state of your sensitivity and make sure to visit our office if it increases or persists for over a month. Call Dr. Bui at RedstoneDental.com for your dental health needs at 781-438-0345.