Skip to main content

What causes cold sensitivity in your teeth

Now the winter months are here the cold air can make you put on your winter woolies, but for some of us, that cold air can cause pain for sensitive teeth. For others, it can be cold foods that cause that shooting sensitivity pain such as ice cream or chilled drinks.

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects your teeth. Underneath the enamel is dentin. Dentin is less dense than enamel and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals).

When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel these tubules are exposed and allow the cold to reach the nerves, causing the sudden shooting pain in the tooth.

How do you lose enamel and cementum?

One of the main causes of enamel loss is due to the acid found in the foods and liquids that we eat and drink. Our saliva helps neutralise the acids in our food and drink, but if we consume too many acidic foods our enamel erodes over time. This is called dental erosion.

Sometimes it can be the way we brush, some of us use hard-bristled toothbrushes and/or scrub vigorously, this can also cause damage to enamel leading to sensitivity.

Should you see the dentist?

Yes! The dentist can have a closer look and examine the sensitivity for you and let you know how it can be treated.

What treatments can the dentist offer?

During the examination, one of our highly trained Dentists will look at your teeth to find out what is causing the sensitivity and to access the best way of treating it. Sometimes it can be as simple as applying a de-sensitising toothpaste or a Fluoride gel to the sensitive area to help block the tubules. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity.

Other options could be treatments such as crowns to re-strengthen the tooth, if the sensitivity is severe or persistent your dentist may recommend a root canal to eliminate the problem.

Proper oral hygiene and brushing technique is the key to preventing sensitive tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.