A Family Dentist Explains How to Deal With Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

sensitivity to hot and cold

If you frequently experience a jolt of pain when you try to enjoy some coffee or ice cream, our family dentist has some tips for you. A sensitive tooth can become a lot more than some minor inconvenience when left untreated.

Tooth sensitivity is typically the result of some sort of damage on a person’s teeth. It is an indication that a trip to the dentist is in order. Identifying and treating the cause of the pain allows the patient to get back to enjoying their favorite treats.

A family dentist explains the causes of tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity and tooth pain can be caused by a variety of dental problems. Some of the more common causes include:

1. Damaged enamel

Enamel plays a vital role protecting teeth from things that can damage them like acids produced by oral bacteria and acidic foods they consume. As the enamel becomes worn down, tooth decay promptly follows. This can leave the nerves inside a tooth exposed to the temperatures of the things they eat. Tooth decay can lead to sensitive teeth and toothaches.

2. Cavities

When tooth decay is left untreated, cavities will eventually form on the person’s teeth. These are small holes that expand until they force a tooth to break or cause an infection. Sensitive teeth are often a sign a cavity has developed on one or more of a person’s teeth.

3. Receding gum

The gums play an essential role, protecting teeth roots. Teeth roots are not protected by enamel; they are covered with an outer layer of cementum. This does not have the acid resistance of enamel, so the roots become vulnerable when a person’s gums begin to recede.

Receding gums can be a sign of gum disease, but it can also be caused by using poor brushing techniques.

How a family dentist treats sensitive teeth

As was mentioned earlier, sensitivity to hot or cold foods is a sign a trip to the dentist is necessary. Here are some popular ways to restore sensitive teeth:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: There are many types of toothpaste that are made specifically for people with sensitive teeth. Many of them contain potassium nitrate which desensitizes sensitive nerve endings inside a tooth. Many of these products can be acquired over the counter, but patients should talk to their dentist first
  • Tooth decay restorations: If the sensitivity is being caused by tooth decay, restorations like fillings, onlays, inlays, dental bonding and crowns can be used to provide a long-lasting solution
  • Root canals: If a tooth has been severely damaged by tooth decay, a root canal might be needed to stop tooth sensitivity and prevent an infection from developing. During the treatment, the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are removed. The tooth will likely be covered with a crown after the treatment

Dealing with sensitive teeth?

Stop by our Chandler office so we can figure out why your teeth are so sensitive and provide the treatments you need.

Request an appointment here: or call Impressions Dental at (480) 814-8888 for an appointment in our Chandler office.