5 Problems That React to Hot and Cold Exposure

5 Problems That React to Hot and Cold Exposure

Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures isn’t uncommon. In fact, statistics show that about one out of every eight Americans suffer from sensitive teeth. 

Sensitivity happens when the nerves located deep inside the tooth get irritated. Tiny channels called tubules transmit temperature from the surfaces of your teeth all the way to the center of your tooth where the nerves are located.

Because they’re surrounded by the hard dentin and enamel layers, tooth nerves typically don’t cause trouble — unless there’s a problem with the tooth structure or the gums surrounding the tooth. Usually, these problems involve issues that expose the root or the tiny tubules that carry temperature information to the tooth center.

The team at Compassionate Endodontists New York/NYC has significant experience identifying the cause of tooth sensitivity in New York City patients, so symptoms can be treated. Here are five possible culprits they want you to know about.

1. Cracked or broken tooth

Teeth are strong and durable, but they’re not indestructible. Chewing on ice or hard candy or taking an impact to your face are all possible causes of tooth cracks and fractures. 

Once a tooth is broken or cracked — even a little bit — the sensitive nerves are exposed, and tooth sensitivity can become an everyday occurrence. Even the tiniest fissure is enough to increase your sensitivity to extreme temperatures.

2. Worn enamel

Your tooth enamel is the hardest, strongest material in your body — about as strong as steel. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged, especially after years of biting and chewing. If you grind your teeth, your risk of enamel wear is dramatically higher.

As the tough outer layer of your teeth, enamel protects the tooth structure, including your nerves. When enamel wears down and thins out, your nerves are able to feel hot and cold more intensely, which can lead to sensitive teeth.

3. Tooth decay

Untreated cavities are another common cause of tooth sensitivity. when you have a cavity, you have an actual hole in your tooth enamel. Like regular wear-and-tear, decayed enamel exposes nerve ends, significantly increasing the risks of irritation and sensitivity.

Even if you’ve had your cavities filled, if a filling is loose or damaged, it can leave a gap that leads to nerve irritation. During your regular checkups, we’ll examine old restorations to ensure they still fit securely and aren’t damaged or badly worn.

4. Infection

Infections can happen inside the center of your tooth, in the tooth root, or in the gums surrounding your teeth. Sometimes, a very bad infection spreads all the way to your jawbone. 

Infections expose nerve endings, so it’s no surprise they can increase sensitivity issues. Infections also need immediate treatment to prevent more serious problems, like deep bone infections.

5. Gum disease

One of the hallmark symptoms of gum disease is gum recession, a serious “side effect” of gum disease that causes your gums to shrink away from the tooth surface and expose more of the lower part of your tooth. As more tooth material is exposed, your risk of sensitivity issues also rises.

In addition to painful sensitivity issues, gum disease also increases your risk of tooth loss. Like any of the issues here, early treatment is important for preventing more serious problems.

Get help for your sensitive teeth

Tooth sensitivity can limit your diet and your enjoyment of certain foods or cold-weather activities. But with the right treatment plan, you can turn the tables on sensitive teeth by relieving and preventing uncomfortable symptoms.

To learn what’s causing your sensitive teeth and how we can help, call 929-229-0255 or book an appointment online at Compassionate Endodontists New York/ NYC today.

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