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Causes of Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

Michael Tischler Feb 8, 2017

Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and ColdDo you experience pain in one or more teeth when you drink your hot coffee in the morning? What about when you eat ice cream for dessert? A lot of patients experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages at some point in their lives. There are a number of different potential causes and restorative dentistry treatment options available. We can diagnose the cause of your tooth sensitivity to hot and cold and recommend an appropriate treatment at our Hudson Valley, NY dental practice. Contact Tischler Dental today to find out what is causing your sensitivity.

Unfortunately, the causes of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures vary greatly from minor to more severe. Because all of these conditions can cause this type of sensitivity, it is best to make an appointment for an examination. Your dentist can confirm the cause of the sensitivity and discuss treatment options with you.

Eroded Tooth Enamel

Although tooth enamel is one of the strongest tissues in the body, it is still susceptible to damage. Acidic foods and drinks and aggressive brushing can all cause the enamel to become worn down. This exposes the underlying, porous layer, the dentin. When you consume hot or cold food and drinks, these temperatures travel through the dentin to your tooth’s center where the nerves are located. These nerves react to the temperature changes, causing pain.

Loose or Damaged Fillings

If you have a filling that becomes damaged or dislodged, you may experience this type of sensitivity. The loose filling exposes the underlying tissues of your tooth. As with eroded tooth enamel, this can cause the nerves in the pulp of your tooth to react.

Tooth Decay

When we lack proper oral hygiene, bacteria begin to eat away at our teeth, starting with the enamel and working their way deeper. These cavities expose the inner tissues of the teeth, which can cause pain when eating or drinking anything hot or cold. Some patients even experience pain when breathing cool air through the mouth.

Gum Disease and Exposed Tooth Roots

Untreated gum disease creates pockets between the teeth and gums. Although small, these pockets leave the tooth roots, which lack protective enamel, exposed. As the disease progresses, the gums may recede, further exposing the tooth roots. This exposure will result in sensitivity to hot and cold items.

How Can I Get a Handle on Tooth Sensitivity?

Unfortunately, once the tooth enamel erodes, we cannot restore it. If enamel erosion is the cause, we may recommend using toothpaste designed to reduce sensitivity. For tooth decay and loose or damaged fillings, we may recommend a tooth-colored filling or dental crown. This will repair the tooth and eliminate your sensitivity. When gum disease is the culprit, we may recommend a deep cleaning or even gum surgery. These treatments will eliminate infection and protect the tooth roots.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you want to stop your tooth sensitivity, contact Tischler Dental to schedule an appointment. Our doctors will examine your teeth and discuss your treatment options.

Woodstock Office

121 Route 375
Woodstock, NY 12498

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(845) 679-3706