When your teeth are healthy and in good shape, you can chew and sip your way through hot and cold things without any issues. However, many people experience tooth sensitivity, which is a condition where extreme temperature shifts and physical touch can potentially cause discomfort or downright pain in the teeth. If you're going through tooth sensitivity and need help, then this is what you should know.

Why It Happens

For the vast majority of people, tooth sensitivity is due to weakening dental enamel. Enamel is the hard shell on the exterior of your tooth that provides it with protection and its pearl-like luster. Enamel is tough stuff, but it's not invincible. When it's worn down by plaque, tartar, bacteria, or physical damage, it can become thinned, cracked, or otherwise weakened. As the enamel thins, the nerves in your teeth end up being closer to the surface. Then, when you encounter cold or hot beverages and foods, the nerves respond more strongly, sending a signal to your brain warning you that these things could be hurting you.

Temporary Solutions

In the short term, there's help out there to effectively desensitize your teeth. Sensitivity toothpastes and other products are sold in grocery stores and drug stores and are intended to help reduce the discomfort you're experiencing. Some of them numb the nerves, while others contain minerals and chemicals that help to plug up holes in weakened enamel to reduce your sensations.

However, that being said, it's important to note that these are only short-term solutions. Sensitivity toothpaste and other products can't restore or repair enamel, so you'll need additional care in order to prevent this problem from getting worse.

Getting Help

The good news is a dentist can help you with this quite readily. They can help to repair and restore your enamel, or if the case is extreme, they can use a dental crown to encapsulate your tooth and protect it from further damage. In most cases, these treatments are non-invasive and will leave you feeling better as soon as the procedure is done. You can then rest easy not only enjoying the food and drinks that you used to, but also knowing that your tooth is no longer at increased risk of developing cavities, a common problem with thinned or missing tooth enamel. If you've been in pain or noticed even mild sensitivity in your teeth, contact a general dental care clinic to keep it from getting worse.