Throbbing tooth sensitivity can not only be discomforting, it can make enjoying everyday food and drinks a pain in the mouth. An oral health evaluation can help determine if the cause of tooth sensitivity is related to tooth decay, and in some cases, ICAT Scans can help pinpoint the pain source. Learn more about common causes of dental sensitivities related to hot and cold temperatures and how to determine if underlying pain is related to tooth decay.
Prevent Tooth Decay with Routine Dental Care
An improved daily dental care routine is key to preventing dental decay. Brush teeth a minimum of twice per day for two minutes. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once daily to help remove plaque hiding in areas a toothbrush cannot reach. Unlike a toothbrush, which cleans the top and outer surfaces of teeth and gums, interdental floss is specifically designed to clean tight spaces between teeth and gums. Flossing fights gum disease, creates confident smiles, and prevents periodontitis.
Common Causes of Dental Pain and Sensitivity
The underlying cause of tooth sensitivity and pain is not always easy to diagnose during a visible dental examination. A jolt of pain in teeth can be attributed to enamel erosion, cavities, or receding gums, while agonizing dental sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverage temperatures can indicate more serious oral health issues. According to research submitted by Science Daily, scientists have theorized tooth cells called odontoblasts contain cold-sensitive proteins that detect temperature drops. Signals from these cells can ultimately trigger a jolt of pain to the brain when films of bacteria and acid eat away at the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. As enamel erodes, pits called cavities form. Roughly 2.4 billion people — about a third of the world’s population — have untreated cavities in permanent teeth, which can cause intense pain, including extreme cold sensitivity.
Dental Treatment Options for Temperature Sensitivity and Pain
If experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain, gently floss between the sore tooth to remove any food debris or particles that may be lodged there. Follow by gently rinsing with warm saltwater. If tooth pain and aches persist, contact your dentist to schedule an oral health evaluation and to discuss pain relief tips and daily oral health care improvements. Treatment options will be determined based on the severity of tooth pain. Sometimes it is as easy as altering an acidic or sugary diet to prevent enamel from wearing down or repairing a loose filling. In other cases, more extensive tooth decay could be the result of delaying dental care. Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are recommended every six months as a treatment plan to prevent dental decay.
Evaluating the Source of Tooth Sensitivity and Pain
Following a visible dental examination, an ICAT scan may be administered to evaluate the deeper cause of tooth pain and sensitivity. A new standard for the 21st century, dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) produces three-dimensional images using computer-assisted tomograph or CAT scan technology and can help determine the cause and origin of mouth or jaw pain and pinpoint the source of teeth and gum sensitivity or discomfort. The three-dimensional (3-D) images of teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone are produced in a single scan, helping dentists diagnose and plan for dental services resulting from oral health issues or dental decay.
An ICAT scan can determine the development of wisdom teeth that may need pulled, or in other cases, if teeth with minor chips, cracks or fractures may be good candidates for a filling or dental crown. In more serious cases of dental infection or abscess, an extensive dental treatment plan will be discussed and recommended for tooth extraction and dental implants. Three Rivers Dental offers sedation dentistry options for pleasant, comfortable, and pain-free dental experiences. Different levels of sedation from mild, moderate to deep can be used depending on the patient’s needs. Before administering any sedative, our doctors will review your personal medical and dental history, and select the option best for you.
Three Rivers Dental Group delivers confident smiles using technology to improve the diagnosis of oral health issues while delivering the best dental services. We urge patients who have postponed their regular oral health checkups and cleanings to contact us at (1) 855-4-NO-FEARS or request a dental appointment online for fast, convenient dentistry services tailored to each patient’s individual dental needs. We’re conveniently located throughout the Pittsburgh area in Greentree, Cranberry, Greensburg, Jennerstown, and Washington.