Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

May 22, 2017 @ 08:48 AM — by Lauren Shanard

Woman examining her smileThere are multiple reasons that individuals should put time and effort into the care of their teeth. The primary motivation for most people is the appearance of their smile. An unattractive smile can be a great source of self-consciousness. However, while some people may not be highly concerned with the health or function of the teeth, that usually changes as soon as a problem develops, especially if that problem is tooth sensitivity or pain.

Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold affects many of our Williston, VT patients. Dr. Lauren Shanard offers a number of restorative dentistry treatments to address dental problems that may be causing tooth sensitivity. These treatments restore oral strength and allow patients to once again eat and drink without worrying whether the temperature of their food will cause discomfort.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold?

As with any dental problem, the best way to effectively treat tooth sensitivity to hot and cold is to determine what is causing the discomfort. Tooth sensitivity can actually be caused by a number of dental problems. Patients who are experiencing any sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, ranging from mild discomfort to sharp, shooting pain, should ask themselves the following questions:

  • When did I last go to the dentist? Routine dental exams and cleanings are the best way to prevent dental damage and other oral health problems. Dental cleanings should be scheduled at least once every six months. If a patient is past due for one of these cleanings, it is likely that tooth decay may have developed. Tooth decay damages tooth enamel and can expose the more sensitive, inner layers of the teeth.
  • Do I clench or grind my teeth? Bruxism, which is the act of clenching or grinding the teeth, is one of the leading causes of worn down tooth enamel. This habit is especially harmful to the back teeth, so if this is where the sensitivity has developed, bruxism may be the cause.
  • Do I have dental work near the area of sensitivity? Damaged dental work is another common cause of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold. If a prior dental restoration has become damaged, it will no longer be effective at protecting the teeth. As a result, tooth sensitivity may develop.

These questions can help patients narrow down the possible causes of tooth sensitivity, but the only way to confirm these suspicions is by undergoing a dental exam. Dr. Shanard can determine the most likely cause of tooth sensitivity to hot and cold and provide patients with a suggested treatment plan.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

Dr. Shanard offers a full range of restorative dentistry treatments that rebuild the strength of a damaged tooth and restore a protective layer around the sensitive nerves and tissues that lie at the center of each tooth. Each treatment will be customized to the specific needs of the patient and will depend largely on what is causing tooth sensitivity and how extensive any dental damage may be. Below are some of the most common treatments for tooth sensitivity to hot and cold:

  • Dental bonding
  • Dental fillings
  • Inlays and onlays
  • Dental crowns

Schedule a Consultation

If you are dealing with tooth sensitivity every time you try to enjoy a hot or cold food or beverage, it is time to seek professional dental care. Dr. Lauren Shanard can determine what is causing your increased sensitivity and recommend a treatment plan that will restore oral comfort. To find out more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shanard at your earliest convenience.

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