Why Is My Tooth Sensitive to Cold?

Have you noticed recently that your tooth is suddenly sensitive to cold? What does that mean?

Tooth sensitivity to cold can cause you to feel pain when eating cold food or drinking cold liquids. This sensitivity can happen when the root of your tooth is exposed.

The International Dental Journal suggests that 57% of adults in the age range between 20 to 50 indicate that their teeth are sensitive to cold.

How Do Teeth Become Sensitive?

Enamel protects your exposed teeth but below the gumline a tooth root does not have this protective enamal layer. Tooth roots are comprised of dentin, which is the hard bony tissue found below the tooth enamal.

The microscopic dentinal (dentin) tubules inside your teeth are filled with fluid. When the roots of teeth are exposed, these tubules react to cold air or something cold that you eat or drink. This reaction communicates temperature to the nerve cells in the tooth and then to your brain, which interprets the tooth senisitivy as pain.

What Causes Roots of Teeth to Be Exposed?

Gum disease – When disease causes your gum line to recede, the tooth roots become exposed. Usually, this is brought on from neglecting to brush your teeth properly.

Tooth cracks – Cracks in your teeth can also expose the roots of your teeth. Teeth go through a lot of expansion and contraction when you ingest cold, and then hot items. This kind of movement causes small cracks in the teeth, which can expose the tooth root.

Tooth damage – Tooth decay, injury, and on occasion, recent dental procedures also provide circumstances where the roots of teeth are exposed and open to sensitivity.

Maintaining Healthy Teeth

Frequent brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush along with the use of mouthwash can help maintain healthy gums and healthy teeth. Regular flossing down to your gums can also provide better protection of your gums and help prevent gum disease.

You might also like our article entitled Toothache Causes, Symptoms & Rememdies.

If your teeth are sensitive to cold and you are experiencing pain, call Country Dental today. We offer emergency dental services at all three of our southern Ontario locations!

Cambridge:        519-620-7474
Toronto:              416-335-7377
Fergus:                 519-787-7878