Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold: A Real Pain in the Mouth

January 24, 2017 — by Kenneth W. Coffey, DDS
Tags: General Dentistry Restorative Dentistry

A woman holding her jaw with a pained look on her face, due to tooth sensitivity to hot and coldFor people whose teeth are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, some of life’s simplest joys, from taking a lick of an ice cream cone to enjoying that first sip of coffee in the morning, can be the source of irritation, if not downright pain. Many people with tooth sensitivity to hot and cold find ways to cope with it, perhaps unaware that a trip to their local restorative dentistry practice could restore their quality of life. The fact is that, in most cases, tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures is not a result of aging or unfortunate luck, but rather a dental problem that can likely be treated.

If you are suffering from tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, you can find relief at the Orland Park, IL dental practice of Kenneth W. Coffey, D.D.S. Dr. Coffey can diagnose the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity through a comprehensive oral exam and then recommend a treatment plan that will allow you to once again eat and drink with comfort and ease. You will emerge from treatment with improved oral health and a renewed ability to tolerate hot and cold temperatures.

You don’t have to live with tooth sensitivity any longer. We urge you to contact our cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Kenneth W. Coffey.

Why Do Teeth Become Sensitive to Hot and Cold Temperatures?

There are several possible reasons that the teeth can start to become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. The most common reasons include:

  • Enamel erosion: When the superficial layer of enamel that coats the teeth becomes worn, the layer of dentin beneath becomes exposed. When exposed to elements such as extreme temperatures, dentin is highly sensitive. However, as long as only the enamel is affected, porcelain veneers and crowns can be highly effective at treating the problem.
  • Gum disease: In its advanced stages, gum disease can cause the periodontal tissues to pull away from the teeth, revealing the cementum layer that protects the dentin beneath the gum line. Like enamel, cementum can be eroded, which allows the dentin to become exposed. Fortunately, periodontal treatments such as scaling and root planing can help to improve gum health and reduce tooth sensitivity to hot and cold.
  • Chips and cracks: Chips and cracks in the teeth can cause tooth pain, which may be aggravated further when exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Root canal infections: Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is sometimes a sign of a root canal infection. In such cases, oral surgery must be performed to remove the infected dental pulp that resides inside the root canal, and the remaining tooth structure must be covered with a dental crown.

Learn More about Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold

If you would like to learn more about treatments for tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, please contact the cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice of Dr. Kenneth W. Coffey today.

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