Is a sensitivity to hot and cold making it hard to enjoy favorite foods? These tips will help you dial down the discomfort.
There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a cold glass of ice water on a hot day – unless that first sip brings a jolt of discomfort to the mouth. The culprit? Tooth sensitivity.
“You can notice tooth sensitivity while eating hot or cold foods, drinking cold or hot beverages, or breathing cold air,”
Each tooth is made up of dentin, a tissue at its core, which is covered by a protective coating of enamel. If the enamel wears away or decays and exposes the dentin, the tooth (or teeth) can experience sensations including pain.
Gum recession caused by brushing too hard or with an incorrect technique can lead to dentin exposure, as can having cracked or chipped teeth or grinding and clenching the teeth. A medical condition, like bulimia or acid reflux, can also be a cause. Even diet may play a role – acidic foods like tomatoes and lemons and beverages like sports and energy drinks can dissolve enamel.
“Damage to enamel is irreversible” “Once enamel is worn away, there is no way to ‘grow’ it back.” The trick is preventing or stopping the damage.”
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, one or more teeth will become sensitive. If your sensitivity is on the upper or lower cuspids (also known as the “canine teeth”) or premolars, the likely cause is receding gums. Decay or enamel erosion can affect any tooth.
Looking into serious dental treatments. When sensitivity is the result of decay or another tooth problem, a crown may help. If gum tissue receding from the tooth’s root is the cause, a surgical gum graft may correct the problem. In severe cases, a root canal may be the best option to help treat teeth sensitivity.
When sensitive teeth are a problem and lifestyle changes aren’t enough to ease the ouch, working closely with your dentist will lead you to the best solution.