You roll out of bed on a peaceful Saturday morning, put on your comfiest pair of slippers, and make your way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Not long after your coffee machine kicks on, your entire house fills with the delicious aroma and you take your first sip. OUCH! You immediately regret your decision as your teeth begin to ache from the warmth. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, tooth sensitivity isn’t just unpleasant, it could be a sign you need to schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist. Here’s how you can tell if you should.
What Is a Dental Emergency?
All too often, patients think dental emergencies are only extreme injuries, like a knocked-out tooth or lost dental crown. In reality, you should see your emergency dentist if any abnormal symptoms arise between your six-month visits, including swelling, pain, or bleeding. In some cases, this does include tooth sensitivity, especially since it could be the result of a much bigger problem. Therefore, when deciding if you should give your dental team a call, it is important to consider what the culprit is.
6 Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity
Although some patients are naturally prone to more sensitive teeth, it is often the result of damage. For example, while a healthy tooth has a strong coating of enamel protecting the inner layers, a decayed tooth penetrates this tough outer layer, allowing hot and cold foods and beverages to reach the nerves. The result? Hypersensitivity. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the common causes, including:
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Fractured teeth
- Worn restorations (like fillings and dental crowns)
- Gum disease
- Eroded tooth enamel
- Exposed tooth root
When You Should Visit Your Dentist
If you have been struggling with tooth sensitivity for years, and your dentist has confirmed that it isn’t a result of a bigger dental problem, then you don’t have to schedule an emergency visit. Instead, try using a desensitizing toothpaste at home or asking about a fluoride gel at your next appointment. On the other hand, if the sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages is new, then you should definitely schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. From there, they can identify the root of the problem and intervene swiftly to ensure no further damage is done.
Tooth sensitivity can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if you love a warm cup of coffee or delicious scoop of ice cream. To restore your pain-free smile, make sure to speak with your dentist sooner rather than later!
About the Author
It was Dr. Lauro Tijerina’s own experience at the dentist that sparked his interest in the field of dentistry! As a result, he earned his undergraduate degree at The University of Texas-Pan American before completing his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. His extensive experience and genuine passion for his craft allow him to help patients with all of their smile-related needs, especially in an emergency. If you are struggling with a dental injury or are simply interested in scheduling an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit his website or give him a call at (956) 687-6103.