Momentary sensitivity to hot or cold foods

Possible Problem

If the discomfort lasts only moments, sensitivity to hot and cold foods generally does not signal a problem. The sensitivity may be caused by a loose filling or by minimal gum recession which exposes small areas of the root surface.

What To Do

Try using toothpastes made for sensitive teeth. Brush up and down with a soft brush; brushing sideways wears away exposed root surfaces. If this is unsuccessful, see your dentist.

 

Sensitivity to hot or cold foods after dental treatment

Possible Problem

Dental work may inflame the pulp, inside the tooth, causing temporary sensitivity.

What To Do

Wait four to six weeks. If the pain persists or worsens, see your dentist.

 

Sharp pain when biting down on food

Possible Problem

There are several possible causes of this type of pain: decay, a loose filling or crack in the tooth. There may also be damage to the pulp tissue inside the tooth.

What To Do

See a dentist for evaluation. If the problem is pulp tissue damage, your dentist may send you to an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists who specialize in pulp-related procedures. Your endodontist will perform a procedure that cleans out the damaged pulp and fills and seals the remaining space. This procedure is commonly called a root canal.

 

Lingering pain, typically lasting more than 30 seconds, after eating hot or cold foods

Possible Problem

This probably means the pulp has been irreversibly damaged by deep decay or physical trauma.

What To Do

 

Constant and severe pain and pressure, swelling of gum and sensitivity to touch

Possible Problem

A tooth may have become abscessed, causing an infection in the surrounding tissue and bone.

What To Do

 

Dull ache and pressure in upper teeth and jaw

Possible Problem

Grinding of teeth, a condition known as bruxism, can cause this type of ache. The pain of a sinus headache may also be felt in the face and teeth.

What To Do

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