Tooth Sensitivity

My father, 55, complains about sensitivity on his back teeth. He is not able to drink or eat anything cold. In this winter season, it’s difficult for him to get out for his morning walk as he says even the cool air makes his teeth shiver. I was wondering if there is any treatment for sensitivity. He is using the toothpaste for sensitive teeth which he saw on television but it doesn’t solve his problem. Please help.
Sorry to hear about the problem your father is facing. Definitely, there are treatments available for sensitive teeth. But first it’s necessary to know the cause of sensitivity. Sensitivity to cold can be due to:
• dental decay
• abrasions due to harsh brushing
• receding gums, exposing the root/roots of the tooth
According to the cause of sensitivity, treatments can vary from using desensitizing  paste, fluoride appication, dental fillings or tissue grafts. So, please tell him to see his dentist as soon as possible for the appropriate treatment.

My 5-year-old daughter complains about discomfort in her back teeth in the lower jaw. When I checked her mouth, I saw black holes in a few of her back teeth. I think she has decayed teeth, but those are milk teeth which will get replaced eventually. My wife however says that her friend got dental fillings for her 8-year-old son done and insists on getting a dental appointment. Is it necessary to fill the decayed milk teeth?

I am glad that you asked this question. The decayed teeth should be filled with dental fillings before they cause pain and sensitivity. You are right that milk teeth will be replaced by the permanent teeth but since your daughter is just 5 years old, the back teeth will get replaced only after 5-7 years i.e. when she is around 10-12 years. So, it’s necessary to maintain her teeth until that time.
Apart from helping with chewing, the milk teeth also save space for proper eruption of permanent teeth. If they are grossly decayed or removed before time, then the erupting permanent teeth might not erupt in their correct positions leading to badly aligned/crooked teeth.
So please take you daughter for a dental check-up.

My dentist filled my lower molar two years back. Three months ago, the filling came out and I was abroad so couldn’t get the re-filling done. There was no pain or sensitivity so I completely forgot about it. But, since the past two days, I am having a dull kind of pain on that tooth and there is a small swelling on the gum below it. I am worried about this swelling. Please advice.
I think, due to the open cavity, your tooth got infected, leading to the swelling. This swelling might be due to the formation of pus from the infected tooth, or can also be from the gums.So, see your dentist as soon as possible. She/ he will do a thorough check-up and may take an X-ray to find out the cause of swelling and plan the treatment accordingly.
If there is no infection, then the treatment option will be to clean the cavity and re-fill. But if there is infection, deep scaling, root canal therapy, or extraction will be the treatment option depending on the condition.

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