Food plays an important role in fueling the body and providing energy. However, most people look at food and drinks as more than just a source of nourishment - they are also a source of enjoyment. Unfortunately, tooth pain can take the joy out of eating. Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold can leave our Memphis, TN patients unable to enjoy some of their favorite foods and beverages.
Fortunately, restorative dentistry treatments to rebuild damaged tooth enamel is often all that is needed to restore oral comfort so that patients can once again indulge in a bowl of ice cream or a cup of coffee without feeling any pain. Here, experienced dentist Ettienne van Zyl discusses some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, as well as the most effective treatments in relieving this discomfort.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity is most often described as a sharp, shooting pain that often comes on suddenly. There are different types of tooth sensitivity. Some patients are sensitive to pressure, and feel pain when they are chewing or biting down on something. Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold develops when the teeth are exposed to extreme temperatures. This is a much more common type of tooth sensitivity.
Generally, if a patient is experiencing discomfort when the teeth are exposed to hot or cold, it means that the tooth’s protective layer of enamel has worn down and the sensitive nerves and tissues at the center of the tooth have become exposed. Some of the most common causes of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold include the following:
- Tooth decay
- An oral injury (such as a chip, crack, or fracture)
- Acid erosion
- Damage to previous dental work
Relieving Tooth Sensitivity
Whether there is an obvious injury that is causing tooth sensitivity, or the tooth enamel has been worn down by aging, erosion, or wear and tear, it is possible to strengthen the protective layer around the tooth and relieve tooth sensitivity to hot and cold. Dr. van Zyl offers a range of restorative dentistry treatments that strengthen worn down or damaged tooth enamel and restore oral comfort for patients who are experiencing discomfort or pain.
Some of the most common treatments that are useful in relieving tooth sensitivity to hot and cold include:
- Dental bonding: During the dental bonding process, a tooth-colored compound is applied to the teeth. This bonding material can repair chips, cracks, or fractures, as well as strengthen worn down tooth enamel.
- Dental fillings: Dental fillings can repair minor to moderate cases of dental decay to restore a protective layer around the sensitive inner layer of the tooth.
- Inlays and onlays: Inlays and onlays are ideal for larger areas of decay or erosion on the biting surface or cusps of a tooth.
- Dental crowns: For a serious oral injury or substantial dental damage, a dental crown is the most appropriate treatment. These caps sit over a tooth to strengthen it and protect it from further complications.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are having a hard time eating or drinking due to tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, it is time to seek dental treatment. Dr. Ettienne van Zyl offers a range of restorative dentistry treatments that can strengthen the teeth and restore oral comfort. To find out which of these treatment options is best for your unique situation, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.