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Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?

Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?
Posted on August 17, 2020

During the hot summer, everyone enjoys sitting outside and having some refreshing ice cream or a cold beverage. But if your teeth are sensitive to cold, ice cream and cold drinks may not be so enjoyable – they might cause you pain. With sensitive teeth, you might not know why your teeth don’t like the cold - just that it hurts. But there are reasons – and knowing the cause makes it easier to find the solution. Here are a few possible reasons why your teeth might be sensitive to cold. 

Decaying Teeth or Gum Disease

If your teeth hurt when you’re eating something cold, your teeth could be starting to decay. When plaque builds up on your teeth, it can eat away at the enamel, which will lead to tooth decay. As your teeth decay, nerves are exposed, and that is why you feel sensitivity to cold foods. A lot of sensitivity starts at the gum line, so if you can find a toothpaste that works on your gums, you can potentially avoid some of the sensitivity. 

Product Use

Some products that are sold to whiten your teeth or freshen your breath can damage your teeth, especially if you use them too often. Additionally, acid from certain foods like coffee, wine, and tomatoes can cause permanent tooth enamel loss. 

Stress & Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes stress will cause us to grind our teeth - usually at night unknowingly. When you grind your teeth together, you wear them down, which causes the enamel to wear and exposes nerves. These exposed nerves can be the cause of the sensitivity to cold foods. If you think you are grinding your teeth, you can make an appointment with your St. Catharine’s dentist to discuss your options. Many dentists can make custom mouthguards so that you don’t grind your teeth against each other during the night. 

Cracks in Your Teeth

Over time, your teeth will eventually start to develop tiny cracks in them. These cracks come from your teeth expanding and contracting when you eat hot and cold things. These cracks will get deeper and provide an opening to the nerves of your teeth. When the nerves are exposed, you will feel the cold as a sharp jolt every time it touches your teeth. 

Receding Gums 

If you notice that your teeth always have a sensitivity to cold, the issue may be in your gums. If your gums are pulling away from your teeth, it exposes more sensitive parts of your teeth. And when these parts are exposed, that’s when you start to feel the sensitivity to cold (or sometimes hot). When you have receding gums, you can talk to your St. Catharine’s dentist about your options, and to see if there’s anything you can do to build your gum line back up. 

Having teeth that are sensitive to cold can prevent you from enjoying foods and beverages that you used to love. Fortunately, many of the causes of sensitive teeth have simple solutions. 

If you have questions for your St. Catharines dentist about sensitive teeth, call us at 905-685-0000 or email us at info@creekviewdental.ca 


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