As the weather grows colder, you may be more aware of your teeth's sensitivity to hot beverages, like hot chocolate or apple cider. While this is certainly a nuisance, sensitivity to heat can also be a sign of dental troubles. If you're ready to set up an appointment with your dentist but are wondering if they can fix your troubles, consider the three common things below that your dentist might do to ease your tooth's sensitivity.
Fill Your Cavities
If you haven't been to the dentist in a while, or if your dentist suggested you take a wait-and-see approach with a particular cavity, you may be experiencing dental sensitivity due to a cavity's size or location.
Teeth become sensitive to heat or cold when the enamel has worn away enough to expose the sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the foods you eat and the liquids you drink. If a cavity is large enough to cause sensitivity, then it's time to speak with your dentist about getting a filling. A filling can act as a protection against further sensitivity and ensure that no further decay occurs.
Fix Chips or Cracks
If you've recently injured a tooth and are now dealing with sensitivity to hot foods and beverages, it's likely that the crack or chip is deep enough to have exposed the tooth's nerves. Fortunately, there are ways to fill in cracks and chips to reduce sensitivity and avoid further damage.
The fix that your dentist will use will depend on the location and size of the crack or chip, though there are two main methods. The first method is a regular filling, such as one used when filling a cavity. This is done when a crack or chip is deep or located where it cannot be seen, such as on the back of your tooth. The second method is known as bonding. This method is used when the crack or chip is in the front of your tooth or is visible when smiling. Bonding involves the use of a tooth-colored resin which can be shaped to fit in with your surrounding teeth. Both of these methods will lead to less exposure of your tooth's nerves, which means you'll suffer from less sensitivity and can enjoy your favorite hot beverages just in time for the coming winter months.
Pull a Tooth
In extreme cases, dental sensitivity may be caused by a severely damaged tooth due to injury, decay, or gum disease. In such situations, your dentist may recommend tooth extraction to remove the source of the sensitivity entirely.
If possible, your dentist will try to avoid extraction, but it can sometimes be the only relief to the throbbing sensitivity you feel. If you've gotten to the point where your dentist is recommending extraction, then you're likely suffering from other symptoms such as a toothache or numbness.
If you're suffering from dental heat sensitivity but still want to be able to enjoy your favorite hot beverages this coming winter, then set up an appointment with a local dentist, such as those found at Glacier Centre For Dentistry.