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Why Your Teeth Are Sensitive to Cold

sensitive teeth - surrey dentist

Sensitivity to cold is reported by almost 60 percent of adults between the ages of 20 to 50 at some point in their lives. These results published in the International Dental Journal demonstrate the commonality of sensitive teeth. Thanks to continued research and new technologies, those who suffer from tooth sensitivity have more options than in days past. Even better, most causes of sensitivity are easily reversed.


Common Causes of Sensitive Teeth

Teeth are composed of layers of materials with enamel being the outermost layer. Underneath the enamel is a softer substance called dentine. When the dentine is exposed, you may discover more than one tooth sensitive to cold. Unfortunately, the main symptom of sensitivity to cold is a short, sharp burst of pain. Some causes of sensitivity include:

  • Grinding and clenching teeth can wear enamel down or break down along gum line over time, thereby causing sensitivity to extreme temperatures.
  • Aggressive brushing tends to wear enamel down, especially if you brush side-to-side.
  • Enamel erosion due to a diet high in acidic food and drinks.
  • Tooth whitening may lead to temporary sensitivity. Talk with your dentist to decide if whitening is a viable option.
  • Naturally occurring gum recession exposes the unprotected root surfaces.
  • Periodontal disease (gum disease) causes gums to recede as tartar builds up between the teeth and gums, thus exposing the dentine. Infected pockets leave roots exposed and can even cause degradation of tooth roots and bone.
  • Cracked teeth can be a culprit if the crack is deep enough to expose the dentine.
  • Cavity which is close to the nerve.
  • Recent filling which is high (touches before other teeth touch).


Dental Treatments That “Freeze Out” the Pain Associated With Sensitive Teeth

At Floss Dental, your Surrey dentist will evaluate the causes of your sensitive teeth before determining appropriate treatments. Depending on the severity of your sensitivity, treatments may be done in the dental office, at home, or a combination of the two.

In-Office Treatments

  • In-office fluoride treatments include prescription-strength paste or varnish. Fluoride strengthens the enamel and dentin with consistent use.
  • Bonded fillings provide a barrier that protects the dentin from extreme temperatures.
  • Gum grafting is a type of oral surgery that is saved for cases where gum recession is not likely to heal with a deep cleaning and adherence to a proper oral hygiene routine.
  • Root canal therapy for which the nerve is irreversibly damaged, removes all of the nerve tissue from within the tooth sensitive to cold and replaces it with a sterile dental material.

At-Home Treatments

  • Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth works best when a soft-bristled brush is used as part of a solid dental hygiene routine.
  • At-home fluoride treatments either purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by your dentist for home use.
  • Eliminate acidic foods and drinks from your diet to stop excessive enamel erosion in its tracks.


Book an Appointment with Your Dentist in Surrey

If you have any questions about tooth sensitivity, please contact us at Floss Dental. Your oral comfort is our goal. To make an appointment, call us directly at 778-565-3368 or use our online form.