Many people experience tooth sensitivity when they drink hot or cold liquids or when they bite into something hot or cold. They shrug their shoulders and just figure that's the way their teeth are; the sensitivity is just something they have to live with. But that's not the truth. Actually, there are plenty of things a dentist can do to address tooth sensitivity.
Crowns or Fillings
There is a chance your tooth sensitivity is due to a cavity or tooth decay, so the first thing your dentist will want to do is examine your teeth for evidence of these conditions. They will also take x-rays, since some cavities can be located between teeth where they are hard to see. If your dentist does discover a cavity, they will either fill the cavity or cover the tooth with a crown. While your tooth may still be sensitive for a few weeks after this treatment, ultimately, the treatment should alleviate your sensitivity so you can enjoy hot and cold foods again.
Often, tooth sensitivity is due to gum disease. When gum disease progresses into the moderate stage, your gums can start receding, which leaves the bases of your teeth exposed. The nerves at the bases of your teeth are closer to the surface and very sensitive to hot and cold. Your dentist can perform a procedure called root scaling, which basically involves cleaning the bases of your teeth. This can help your gum disease start to clear up and your gums to grow healthier, which will ultimately alleviate your sensitivity.
Sometimes tooth sensitivity is due to thin or soft tooth enamel. Fluoride is a mineral that helps build stronger tooth enamel. It's typically included in toothpaste, and it is added to the water in most areas; still, many people do not get enough. Your dentist can perform what is known as a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your tooth enamel and thereby alleviate your sensitivity. Basically, they will paint a concentrated solution of fluoride over your teeth, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it away. You can have this done a few times, spaced a couple of months apart. Your dentist may also prescribe a fluoride rinse for you to use at home between appointments.
Tooth sensitivity is not something you have to live with. Contact your dentist, and schedule an appointment. They'll evaluate your teeth and recommend a treatment that is right for you.