Have hot or cold foods or beverages become painful when they touch your teeth? When you notice sensitivity to the temperature of hot or cold drinks, it could be a sign of a few different things going on in your mouth.
Most likely, however, you are experiencing this tooth sensitivity because you have lost some of the enamel on your teeth.
Sensitive Teeth Due to Enamel Loss
When patients have sensitive teeth, enamel loss is frequently to blame. The enamel is the first, outer layer of each tooth. There are several ways enamel can be lost:
- brushing too hard
- grinding your teeth
- consuming foods and beverages that are acidic
If enamel is lost, dentin is exposed. Dentin is the layer of tooth under the enamel. It contains microscopic dentinel tubules, which act as mini channels. When your hot or cold beverage touches the dentin, the dentinel tubules alert the tooth’s nerve, and the nerve reacts by sending out a message telling you that you are feeling pain.
Other Reasons for Sensitive Teeth and Gums
- Patients who have recently had a teeth whitening treatment may feel some sensitivity in the days after the appointment. This is temporary and nothing to worry about.
- Your teeth may be sensitive if you have recently had dental work done. This sensitivity is likely just temporary, but if it continues, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists.
- Gum sensitivity to temperature may signal gum disease, or it may be a sign of receding gum tissue. Either way, if you have gum sensitivity, it’s best to see a dentist.
How Sensitive Teeth and Gums Are Treated
The treatment for your sensitivity will depend on the cause. The Fixari Family Dental dentists have several years’ experience helping patients restore their oral health and manage sensitivity.
- Once your enamel is lost, it cannot be regained. Patients who have lost enamel and feel sensitivity can use special toothpastes designed for those who have sensitive teeth.
- Switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush can also help prevent further damage to the enamel and gums.
- If your gums are receding, or if periodontal disease is present, treatment will often be necessary in the form of scaling and planing to clear the infection or gum surgery.
Teeth sensitivity is a fairly common occurrence, but it should certainly be monitored to ensure that there are no underlying health concerns.
We help patients who are experiencing tooth or gum sensitivity identify the cause of their discomfort and offer ways to feel more comfortable.
If you notice that cold or hot beverages are irritating your teeth or gums, we encourage you to contact us today. The sooner you do, the sooner you can experience relief from painful sensitivity.