Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?

You might enjoy a nice cold drink or ice cream on a hot summer day. But if your teeth are sensitive to coldness, coming in contact with these foods and beverages can be a painful experience.

But you don’t have to live with sensitivity to cold. Different options are available to completely eliminate sensitivity. Treatment depends on the cause of sensitivity, which is why you should speak with your dentist and have a dental examination. Treatments to stop pain and sensitivity might include:

Fluoride treatment

Your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment to strengthen your tooth enamel. You may also receive a prescription strength fluoride paste and a fluoride rinse.

Dietary changes

In addition to fluoride treatments, eliminating tooth sensitivity may require dietary changes. This includes eliminating acidic foods from your diet, which can weaken tooth enamel.

Healthier brushing habits

Changing how you brush your teeth can also eliminate sensitivity to cold. Switch from a hard-bristled toothbrush to a soft-bristled toothbrush, and don’t brush too vigorously.

Be gentle and vary the motion of your toothbrush. Light bleeding while brushing can be a sign of brushing too hard.

Wear a mouth guard

Signs of grinding your teeth while sleeping include face pain, headaches, earache, and a stiff jaw. Speak with your doctor to see if you need a mouth guard.

A mouth guard prevents you from grinding and clenching your teeth. If your enamel is worn, your doctor may also recommend fluoride treatments or a fluoride paste to strengthen the enamel.

Dental procedures

Certain dental procedures can also alleviate tooth sensitivity. In cases of exposed nerve endings, your doctor may apply a special resin to cover sensitive, exposed dentin and stop your pain. If you have gum disease and gum recession, a surgical gum graft can protect or cover exposed roots, too.

A gum graft alleviates pain by removing gum tissue from another part of the mouth and attaching it to an exposed area. Your dentist can also eliminate sensitivity by filling a cavity or performing a root canal to remove decay or infection from inside a problem tooth.