What Does Tooth Sensitivity to Cold Mean?

What Does Tooth Sensitivity to Cold Mean?

What Does Tooth Sensitivity to Cold Mean?

At one point or another, we’ve all experienced that wincing pain that comes with tooth sensitivity to something icy cold. If you’ve ever taken that first bite of ice cream and had an unexpected response to the cold, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans each year experience some sort of tooth sensitivity. Here’s what it means, and what you can do about it.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

It’s common for people to experience tooth sensitivity. This happens when the enamel on teeth wears down or when gums start to recede. As a result, tiny nerve endings below the affected tooth’s enamel are exposed. So when ice cold drinks or foods hit those exposed nerve endings, you experience sharp, short pain. This can happen with food and beverages and sometimes even by cool air hitting your teeth.

In addition to the exposure of nerve endings, cracks in the surface of tooth enamel also cause sensitivity. On top of all that, extreme temperature changes cause teeth to expand and contract, which can contribute to more tiny cracks in tooth enamel, which can lead to more tooth sensitivity.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity to Cold?

Now that you know the root causes of tooth sensitivity, you can be on the lookout for any of these factors that could increase the likelihood or length of tooth pain. Some of these can be mitigated with at-home care, while some are more serious and should be taken care of by a dental professional.

Whether or not you think your tooth pain is serious or not, it is worth discussing with your dentist. You’ll want to be aware of and monitor any progression of tooth pain under your dentist’s supervision.

At-Home Remedies

While some tooth pain needs to be addressed by a dentist, there are a few ways you can help keep pain at bay from home.

Tooth sensitivity to cold foods and drinks can be painful and disruptive, but you can take steps to ease these symptoms. Make sure you consult with your dental provider before considering any treatment options.