Why Is My Tooth Sensitive to Cold?

Woman appearing to have a headache due to Bruxism.

Teeth Sensitive to Cold

Are your teeth sensitive to cold? Are you wondering 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 teeth sensitive to cold. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity and need help:

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How Do Teeth Become Sensitive?

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

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 teeth sensitive to cold as being the pain.

What Causes Roots of Teeth to Be Exposed?

Gum disease – When disease causes bleeding gums or your gum line to recede, the tooth roots can 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 and cause teeth sensitive to cold food or drinks. 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, accidents such as sports injuries, and on occasion, recent dental procedures also provide circumstances where the roots of teeth are exposed causing teeth sensitive to cold.

Maintaining Healthy Teeth

Along with regular dental exams, frequent brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush plus the use of mouthwash can help maintain healthy gums and healthy teeth. See our post on Brushing Dos and Don’ts and be sure to change your toothbrush every 3 months.

Regular flossing down to your gums can also provide better protection of your gums and help prevent gum disease.

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If you suffer from teeth 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


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

LiveSciene.com also has more detailed information on Tooth Sensitivity: Causes, Remedy & Treatment.