Ouch, it hurts.

Cold weather brings the return of hot beverages and tasty soups. But if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from teeth sensitivity, eating hot or cold food is anything but enjoyable.

So what causes tooth sensitivity and what can you do about it?

There are several potential causes of tooth sensitivity ranging from brushing too hard or eating too many acidic foods to larger problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. In healthy teeth, there is a layer of enamel that protects the teeth. When that protective covering weakens or thins out, heat or cold reaches the inside of the tooth causing pain.

Many patients try to treat tooth sensitivity using an over-the-counter remedy such as desensitizing toothpaste. However, if the cause of the sensitivity is more complex such as tooth decay or gum disease, a dentist-designed treatment plan is required.

Think you are suffering from tooth sensitivity? Take the American Dental Association’s Sensitive Teeth quiz to find out. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/sensitive-teeth-quiz.