Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why are my teeth so sensitive to different tempteratures?"
I am a college student and I have perfect teeth. Lately, it seems that my teeth have become extremely sensitive to different temperatures. If something is too hot or too cold, it makes my teeth hurt. I tried using one of those "sensitive" toothpaste brands, but nothing seems to work. How did this happen to me so suddenly, and what can I do to fix the problem?
You should talk to your dentist, as sensitive teeth may be an indication of tooth disease. Sensitive teeth occur when the protective hard layer of the tooth erodes, exposing the sensitive nerves underneath. This can occur either through trauma to the teeth (by grinding them, chipping, or cracking), through dental caries (cavities) or through gum disease, where the gums at the base of the teeth retract allowing for the softer tooth parts underneath them to be exposed. Assuming you have had regular dental care and cavities are not the main problem, then what is going on probably has something to do with your gums. This could be related to an inflammation of the gums, perhaps due to not regular enough flossing or brushing. On the other hand, if you have not had a dental cleaning in a while, plaque buildup may be contributing. Sometimes, excessive use of whitening products or whitening toothpastes can directly erode the hard protective part of the teeth, leading to sensitivity. I suggest getting in to see your dentist as soon as possible, as they will be able to help you figure out what is going on. In the meantime, you may want to switch to a 'sensitive teeth' brand of toothpaste.
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