Why Is My Tooth Sensitive To Hot And Cold?

It’s a really awful thing, when you can no longer enjoy an ice cream or a hot cup of tea because your teeth are starting to protest!

If you have been wondering “Why is my tooth sensitive to hot and cold?” then you are not alone. Let’s go through all the reasons behind this.

Why Is My Tooth Sensitive To Hot And Cold?

It’s no fun when you get a sudden, sharp pain while eating or drinking your favourite things, hot or cold.

If this happens to you, it’s a sure sign that you need to get to your dentist, as tooth sensitivity can be a sign that a cavity is brewing.

Your dentist can help by filling the hole to prevent bacteria form getting in, or by giving you a plan to help remineralise your teeth.

Another possible reason for tooth sensitivity is an infection inside the pulp of the tooth – this sounds horrible, but like many other things, it can be fixed by your dentist.

It may mean a root canal filling, or at the very least a course of antibiotics, but if it can save your teeth and your smile it’s worth it, right?

Sometimes, tooth sensitivity can be a sign of gum recession – when the gums leave the roots of the teeth exposed, it can cause problems.

If you are worries that you might have gum disease, which often causes gum recession, you can often stop this problem in its tracks.

A really good, thorough clean followed by a really intensive oral hygiene regime, can help to fix this problem.

Gum recession cannot be reversed, but you can at least stop it from spreading through your mouth to your other teeth.

How Do You Fix Sensitive Teeth To Hot And Cold?

There are actually a lot of things that you can do to fix sensitive teeth, and it’s not always a sign that you’re about to lose teeth.

Obviously, you should go to your dentist first to check out the reasons behind any sudden sensitivity. They may recommend a few options:

  • Desensitising toothpaste. There are a few of these on the market, and they can actually help your sensitive teeth to not react so strongly.
  • Fluoride. This substance can help to strengthen the enamel on your teeth, making them less sensitive. You can use a fluoride toothpaste, or get it in a gel or paste from your dentist.
  • Bonding. If your sensitivity is caused by an exposed tooth root, your dentist can apply bonding resin to cover up the sensitive areas.
  • Gum graft. Teeth can become sensitive when the gum wears away, so a dentist can take a small piece of gum tissue from elsewhere in your mouth and use it to cover the area.
  • Root canal. This technique is not just for cavities! Fixing problems in the pulp of the tooth can help resolve sensitivity issues.

As for what you can do yourself, the best things are to brush and floss well, follow a good diet, and limit your intake of sugary and acid foods and drinks.

And, of course, attend your regular dentist check ups, and always follow their advice on the best course of action for your teeth.

Here’s a little article which should explain a bit more about tooth sensitivity.

Can Tooth Sensitivity Go Away?

There are a couple of different causes of tooth sensitivity, and while some can go away on their own, others may need a little more intervention.

Some tooth sensitivity can be caused by dental procedures, such as scaling and cleaning.

If your sensitivity arises after you have had a deep cleaning session, for example, it should definitely go away on its own pretty quickly.

Some tooth sensitivity is caused by the beginnings of a cavity or tooth decay, in which case it will take a little longer to resolve.

You will need to visit your dentist, who will be able to advise you on what to do going forwards, and whether you can take care of the problem yourself or whether it needs intervention.

The most important thing you can do in the meantime is to maintain a really good oral hygiene routine, and if anything brush and floss more regularly if your teeth are feeling sensitive.

When Is Tooth Sensitivity Serious?

If your tooth sensitivity has come on very suddenly, and it affects your everyday life, it should be classed as a serious problem.

Teeth can sometimes become sensitive to temperatures, or certain foods or textures, with time – but if it appears out of nowhere and goes on a long time, this could be a problem.

Sometimes, tooth sensitivity can have a real drastic effect on our lifestyles – it can be hard to eat or drink, for example.

In severe cases, the sensitivity is not limited to the teeth, and the pain can spread into other parts of your face or into your head.

If this is you, or your tooth sensitivity is not going away no matter how much Sensodyne you brush with, it’s time to book in with the dentist.

How Long Is Too Long For Tooth Sensitivity?

It could be argued that any amount of time is too long for tooth sensitivity – it’s not a fun or pleasant experience!

If it pops up one day and is gone the next, you don’t have very much to worry about. Up your oral hygiene to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

If sensitivity is a problem after a clean at the dentist, or a dental procedure, again this should clear up on its own in a day or two.

If your sensitivity goes on for longer than a week, or it gets worse quickly, it is definitely a sign that you should make an appointment with your dentist.

This little video shows you why tooth sensitivity appears, and when you should worry about it:

Final Thoughts

Sensitive teeth are not much fun, whether the cause is an underlying problem with the tooth itself, or a reaction to a dental procedure.

With the right care and attention, you can sort out the causes of your sensitive teeth, and hopefully prevent the problem in the future.