Possible problem: If this discomfort lasts only moments, sensitivity to hot and cold foods generally does not signal a serious problem. The sensitivity may be caused by a small decay, a loose filling or by minimal gum recession that exposes small areas of the root surface.
What to do: Try using toothpastes made for sensitive teeth. Brush up and down with a soft bristle toothbrush; brushing sideways wears away exposed root surfaces. If this is unsuccessful, see your general dentist. If the sensitivity is coming from decay you should see your general dentist.
Possible problem: Dental work may inflame the pulp inside the tooth causing temporary sensitivity.
What to do: It can take up to 6 weeks for this type of sensitivity to subside. If the pain persists or worsens, see your general dentist.
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. Dr. Comer 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.”
Possible problem: This probably means the pulp has been damaged by deep decay or physical trauma.
What to do: See your dentist or endodontist to save the tooth with root canal treatment.
Possible problem: A tooth may have become abscessed, causing an infection in the surrounding gingival tissue and bone.
What to do: See your general dentist or Dr. Comer for evaluation and treatment to relieve the pain and save the tooth.
Possible problem: The pain of a sinus headache is often felt in the face and teeth. Grinding of teeth, a condition known as bruxism, can also cause this type of ache. What to do: For sinus headache, see your physician. For bruxism, consult your dentist. If pain is severe and chronic, see Dr. Comer for evaluation.
Information on this procedure has been adopted from the copyrighted literary content of the American Association of Endodontics.