Did You Know?

Why Your Teeth are Sensitive to Hot or Cold Food

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Sometimes, while eating either hot or cold food, a pinching pain from a tooth shoots up and might catch you by surprise. This pain occurs because of tooth sensitivity, a rather very common yet curable condition. Cells within the tubes in dentin are stimulated by the hot or cold temperature of the food or drink, sometimes even by air, and causes that sudden, intense pain.
Experiencing tooth sensitivity is not a spur of the moment episode, does not develop overnight and there are several underlying reasons. Sensitivity follows a pattern, starting with acquiring sensitivity to cold foods due to bad oral practices. If this is ignored, it is likely to escalate to sensitivity to hot foods. When this happens, it may indicate the presence of a serious dental condition.

What may cause teeth sensitivity to cold and hot food?

A cavity or a decayed tooth may be a major reason behind the tooth sensitivity to hot foods. A cavity exposes the inside of the tooth to entry of food debris, saliva and bacteria that interact and lead to the beginnings of decay. When there is tooth decay and if left untreated, further severe oral issues may follow. Another cause of tooth sensitivity is enamel breakdown. The enamel becomes thin at the gum line; as it weakens it breaks down exposing the inner dentin which is sensitive to temperature changes. The pain can travel to the roots and can be excruciating.

Infections can also induce sensitivity.

Accumulation of plaque leading to hardened tartar can irritate the gums causing them to swell and inflame. This can end up with gingivitis. At this point, teeth can become sensitive to coldness and hotness. Likewise, improper brushing can also irritate the gums. Harsh and robust brushing with hard-bristle toothbrush can weaken the enamel and expose dentin. Finally, bad eating habits, like consuming too many acid-based processed foods, can also cause sensitivity.

So how does one prevent tooth sensitivity?

One must maintain proper oral hygiene with the correct brushing technique and frequency, right toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Drink plenty of water to wash away traces of acidic or sugary food and drink. Regular visits to the dentist are important to oral well-being; routine check-ups can keep one abreast of the condition of teeth, gums, and mouth.

Sensitive No More in Lynnwood

Suffering from tooth sensitivity? Whether that’s hot or cold sensitivity, it is commendable to see your dentist right away. Our team at Song Dental in Lynnwood address this issue immediately to prevent further progress of this otherwise common and treatable condition.