Dental Details: Why is My Tooth Sensitive to Cold?

Posted on June 26, 2024 by Associates of Dentistry

Experiencing tooth sensitivity, especially when enjoying a cold treat or sipping a chilled beverage, can be both uncomfortable and concerning. At Associates of Dentistry in Joplin, MO, we frequently address this common dental issue. Here’s a closer look at why your tooth might be sensitive to cold and what you can do about it.

Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity to Cold

Enamel Erosion: The enamel is the hard, protective outer layer of your teeth. Over time, acidic foods, beverages, or aggressive brushing can wear down this enamel, exposing the softer dentin underneath, which is more sensitive to temperature changes.

Gum Recession

As gums recede, often due to gum disease or improper brushing techniques, the roots of your teeth can become exposed. Unlike the crown of the tooth, the roots are not protected by enamel, making them more susceptible to sensitivity.

Tooth Decay

Cavities or tooth decay can create holes in the enamel, allowing cold substances to reach the inner layers of the tooth where nerves are located, leading to sharp pain or discomfort.

Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Damage to your teeth, such as cracks or chips, can expose the dentin or even the pulp, resulting in increased sensitivity to cold.

Dental Procedures

Recent dental work, such as fillings, crowns, or teeth whitening treatments, can temporarily cause sensitivity as your teeth adjust.

What You Can Do to Manage Tooth Sensitivity

Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Special toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help block the pain signals traveling from the tooth surface to the nerve.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Maintain a gentle yet thorough brushing and flossing routine to prevent gum disease and enamel erosion. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid overly abrasive toothpaste.

Modify Your Diet

Limit your intake of acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, sodas, and wine, which can contribute to enamel erosion.

Attend Regular Dental Appointments

Regular dental check-ups are crucial. Persistent sensitivity could indicate a more serious issue that needs professional attention. At Associates of Dentistry, we can diagnose the root cause and recommend appropriate treatments, such as fluoride applications, bonding, or even gum grafts for receding gums.

Don’t let tooth sensitivity to cold hinder your enjoyment of your favorite foods and drinks. With proper care and professional advice, you can manage and even eliminate this discomfort. If you have concerns about tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with us at Associates of Dentistry in Joplin, MO. Our dedicated team is here to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

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Chipped tooth