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Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist

Dealing with Hot/Cold Tooth Sensitivity

By Alex Hecht on August 24, 2017

A woman with a toothacheWhen your teeth are sore or sensitive, it can be difficult to go about your day. Biting, chewing, and just having a sip of water can lead to sensitive teeth or even severe dental pain. There are many reasons why this may occur, and the team at our Staten Island restorative dentistry practice can help address it.

Let's take a moment to consider sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. We'll consider some common causes of this problem and what can be done to remedy these issues.

What Can Trigger Hot/Cold Tooth Sensitivity?

In essence, hot and cold tooth sensitivity is a type of discomfort caused by the temperatures of food items or beverages. In many cases, the sensitivity is the result of the tooth enamel being being breached in some fashion. This exposes some of the porous dentin layer of the tooth to external elements it would not normally come into contact with.

Common Causes of Hot/Cold Tooth Sensitivity

There are three common causes of hot/cold tooth sensitivity. They are as follows:

  • Side Effects from Teeth Whitening – The bleaching agents used in teeth whitening treatment penetrate the tooth enamel and reach the dentin of a tooth. As a result, the pores of the dentin (the dentinal tubules) tend to be much more sensitive for a few days after treatment.

  • Tooth Decay and Fractures – Cavities, chips, and cracks mean damage to the enamel layer of a tooth and exposure of the dentin. The severity of the fracture can lead to greater sensitivity and discomfort.

  • Enamel Erosion – Enamel erosion occurs when the pH in a person's mouth is far too acidic. This leads to weaker tooth enamel that wears away, leading to more exposure of the dentin.

  • Gum Recession – When the gums are harmed, the gumline may lose tissue as a response. This exposes more of the root structure of the teeth, which has less tooth enamel and is more susceptible to decay.

Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity After Whitening

When dealing with tooth sensitivity after whitening treatment, it's important to avoid hot or cold foods and beverages for a few days. Stick with foods and drinks that are lukewarm or room temperature until the sensitivity goes away on its own.

Treatments for Tooth Decay and Fractures

When dealing with decay and other sorts of tooth damage, the ideal option tends to be the use of dental restorations. Fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns can protect teeth from harm and prevent issues with sensitivity and soreness in the process.

Treatments for Enamel Erosion

Enamel erosion can be treated using the same approaches as tooth decay and fractures. In addition to dental restorations, however, other steps and lifestyle changes can be taken to change the pH in a person's mouth, preventing future issues of erosion down the road.

Treatments for Gum Recession

When gums have receded, the ideal option for treatment is gum grafting. Also known as soft tissue augmentation, gum grafting involves the use of donor gum tissue or artificial gum tissue to rebuild the gumline. This oral surgery is also common when addressing advanced stages of periodontal disease.

Learn More About Tooth Sensitivity

If you would like to learn more about treating and preventing tooth sensitivity, be sure to contact Staten Island Implant Dentistry today. We can assess your situation and help develop an ideal treatment for you and your needs.

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