Are Your Teeth Sensitive to Hot or Cold Drinks & Food? We Can Help!

Many people suffer the discomfort associated with having one or more sensitive teeth during their lifetime. Teeth are encapsulated by a hard enamel covering that usually protects and seals the top and sides of teeth while gum tissue surrounds lower teeth structures. Inside each tooth, there is a soft pulp layer that contains numerous microscopic nerves. When these nerves become exposed or the tooth suffers irritation, temperature sensitivity occurs. While some choose to ignore the discomfort, or learn how to avoid the circumstances that create the pain, others seek ways to address the issue.

When to Seek Professional Help

Teeth become sensitive when cavities develop, there is an active infection or gums have receded and allow for exposure of delicate nerve endings. The problem might also involve a leaky filling. Patients then typically experience a sharp or throbbing pain when eating or drinking extremely cold or hot foods. Under some circumstances, the pain may occur while chewing on the affected tooth. The symptom is often an indication of a more serious problem that requires evaluation by our local Hickory dentist. Individuals should especially seek medical intervention when:

  • The sensitivity becomes worse over time
  • The amount of discomfort lasts for longer periods of time
  • Gums bleed after brushing, rinsing or eating
  • One or more teeth have rough edges
  • There is obvious gum swelling or the presence of a cavity
  • A long time has passed since the last dental appointment
  • The problem is not resolved after using a recommended toothpaste containing a desensitizing formula

Sensitive Teeth Solutions

If there is not a visible problem that may expose nerves, densensitizing toothpaste might be all that is needed. Look for formulations that display that the product is typically designed for sensitive teeth. The ingredients in these products commonly contain chemical or physical compounds that safely seal the exterior of the teeth. Some have chemicals that reduce teeth sensitivity by dulling the sensation of nerve endings. Other products strengthen the overall topical structure of teeth. The methods used to address the problem and the particular problem may mean that one product is more effective compared to another.

Medical Treatments

If toothpaste manufactured to reduce teeth sensitivity does not solve the discomfort, make an appointment with our Hickory dentists. After a thorough visual and physical evaluation, a qualified dental professional can determine the cause for the problem and offer sensitive teeth solutions. Teeth may require filling or refilling. Antibiotics help eliminate possible infections. Physicians may prescribe or recommend OTC methods to alleviate gum disease. On rare occasions, undergoing extensive whitening procedures may weaken teeth, which leaves them prone to sensitivity and possibly in need of enamel strengthening.