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January 6, 2018

Hey Dentist, Why Are My Teeth So Sensitive to Hot and Cold?

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_auster @ 5:50 pm

woman with sensitive teethEveryone loves to have a delicious bowl of ice cream or a comforting cup of piping hot tea once in a while, but what if you can no longer enjoy these little delights because they make your teeth hurt? Tooth sensitivity is a common issue, but many people still don’t understand why it happens. Your dentist in Pomona is here to explain the reason behind your mouth’s aversion to hot and cold foods and drinks.

Your Teeth’s Layers

Your teeth aren’t just pieces of bone. They have a unique structure that involves three layers: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It’s there to protect the inner layers of your teeth and help you make your way through all your favorite foods. Unfortunately, though, it isn’t invincible.

When your enamel becomes worn thin or develops cracks, it is easier for temperatures to affect the dentin. The dentin is full of little tubules that connect to your nerves. When hot or cold items touch the dentin, therefore, you end up in a world of hurt.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

There are several common reasons why people’s enamel gets damaged to the point where their teeth become sensitive to extreme temperatures:

  • Poor oral hygiene that leads to cavities
  • Being too aggressive when brushing
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Consuming too many highly acidic foods and beverages
  • Gum recession that exposes the tooth’s roots (roots don’t have enamel to protect them)

Certain dental treatments, such as fillings or teeth whitening, may also cause sensitivity. However, this type of sensitivity usually doesn’t last more than a couple of days, and it doesn’t occur because the enamel is damaged. It might happen because the pulp inside the tooth is swollen or because a treatment temporarily made the enamel more permeable.

How to Address Tooth Sensitivity

It’s important to visit your dentist if you are struggling with sensitive teeth. They can recommend products to reduce your pain so you can enjoy your favorite foods again. They might also perform a fluoride treatment to help fortify your enamel and make it more difficult for substances to irritate the dentin underneath.

Even if you think you can put up with your sensitive teeth, it’s still vital that you see a dentist as soon as you can. In some cases, the pain you experience because of hot or cold items isn’t due to worn enamel. It might be a sign that a tooth is cracked. Or, there might even be an infection in the pulp of one of your teeth, in which case you may need a root canal.

Sensitive teeth? Lots of things can cause this issue, but fortunately, your dentist can help relieve the pain.

About Your Dentist in Rockland County

We have four dentists in our office, all of whom are proud to provide friendly, compassionate care to patients. If you have sensitive teeth, or you just have questions about your oral health, we’d be happy to help. You can contact our office at 845-364-0400.

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