If you have ever cringed while eating ice cream or stopped drinking your favorite hot drink due to pain in your teeth, you have experienced dental hypersensitivity. This simply means that the dentin in your teeth are experiencing pain from an external factor, such as eating or drinking something that is hot or cold. A majority of the time the culprit is a cold food or drink, but there are other stimuli that cause the same pain.
Stimuli that May Cause a Sensitive Response
There are many causes of the pain you feel in your mouth, otherwise known as sensitivity, and it can be hard to pinpoint just one, but here are some of the most common reasons:
- Excessively hot or cold food and drinks
- Cold air
- Dental tools, including the probe
- Foods/drinks with a high sugar content
- Foods/drinks with a high acidic content
The Causes of Dental Hypersensitivity
If your reaction to any of the above stimuli is excessive, there could be an underlying reason for your discomfort. Typically, patients are experiencing receding gums or excessive wear on their enamel. Both of these reasons could be caused by harsh brushing over many years, using the incorrect type of toothpaste, consuming a highly acidic diet, or poor oral hygiene habits. In addition, receding gums can be caused by chronic gum disease, which has become periodontitis. Regardless of the reason, it is crucial that you see a dentist in order to get to the root of the problem and begin making changes to alleviate your discomfort.
There are several ways that we can help you alleviate your pain and be able to enjoy your favorite food and drinks again. If your teeth are worn down and the pulp is exposed, a root canal may be necessary to repair and clean the roots, and then fill the area to avoid the painful reactions you were experiencing to hot and cold foods. If your gums have become recessed, a gum graft may be necessary to cover up your roots and protect yourself from the unnecessary pain. In less dire circumstances, simply changing your diet and your oral hygiene habits, including the type of toothpaste you use can be enough to rectify the situation and eliminate your dental hypersensitivity. We will discuss your options with you and help you get back on the path to eating and drinking your favorite food and drinks!