What Causes Tooth Sensitivity to the Cold?

hand holding ice cream cone

Summer means sunny days, hanging by the pool, and ice cream. But for those of you who suffer from teeth sensitivity to cold, it can be hard to enjoy a cone at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor. So what causes this sensitivity, and is there any treatment? We’ve got the answers for you!

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity to the Cold?

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a number of things, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the part of the tooth that sits above the gum line. Below, a layer called cementum protects the root. Under both the enamel and the cementum is dentin, the hard, dense, bony tissue that forms the bulk of a tooth beneath the outer layer. When the enamel or cementum thins, the dentin becomes exposed. As a result, the teeth become more sensitive. Dentin can also become exposed when the gum line recedes.

While the loss of dentin can cause tooth sensitivity to the cold, the majority of people who suffer from tooth sensitivity suffer from the condition because of other issues. These issues include tooth decay, cavities, fractured teeth, worn or lost fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel, and an exposed tooth root. An exposed tooth root can happen due to improper brushing, clenching or grinding teeth, erosion from acid, or even orthodontic treatment.

How Is Tooth Sensitivity Treated?

Treatment depends on the severity of the sensitivity. It’s important that you come in so we can evaluate your condition and suggest the treatment that is right for you.

Desensitizing toothpaste contains compounds that help block feeling from the tooth surface to the nerve. It takes some time and several applications to start working but can be very effective.

Whether it takes the form of a prescription-strength paste or an over-the-counter rinse, fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel and dentin. This helps reduce the transmission of sensations when you bite into something cold.

You may also need dental work to treat tooth sensitivity to the cold. Crowns, inlays, bonding, and even a root canal can help restore and protect the exposed root or lost tooth structure. One of these may be the best course of treatment if your tooth sensitivity and its cause are very severe.

Of course, the most important way to combat tooth sensitivity to the cold is to practice good dental hygiene. Be sure to brush and floss at least twice a day, make healthy dietary choices, and come in to see us at Dental Solutions of Columbus for regular cleanings and any other dental issues that may arise. Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to ensure that you can enjoy ice cream at Zaharakos during the dog days of summer!

Contact us to schedule your next appointment! Call us now!

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