A cold ice cream bar on a hot summer day is a summer ritual for many of us. But do your teeth hurt after biting into the bar? As delicious as ice cream is, it can trigger pain in your teeth if you suffer from cold teeth sensitivity.
If your teeth are indeed sensitive to the cold, there’s no need to panic. There are common causes for cold teeth sensitivity like gum disease, tooth decay, or plaque build-up, among other things. Keep reading to learn about the different causes that make teeth sensitive to the cold, as well as helpful remedies.
Reasons Why Your Teeth Can Be Sensitive To Cold Temperatures
1. Are your teeth decaying? Do you have gum disease?
Do your teeth hurt when you’re not eating? Do they hurt regardless of what foods you eat? This can be an indicator that there’s a lot of plaque on your teeth, which can lead to both tooth decay and gum disease.
How Can You Tell Your Tooth Is Infected?
2. Are you whitening or brushing your teeth too much?
If you use whitening strips too often or if you brush your teeth using excessive pressure, this can make your teeth sensitive to the cold. Brushing your teeth too many times a day can also aggravate your teeth.
3. Are you grinding your teeth?
Grinding your teeth can be hard on your enamel. Grinding your teeth also wears down on the nerves in your teeth, which can cause severe sensitivity.
4. Are your nerve roots showing?
Your nerves are the base of your teeth. Kind of like the tires on your car that could blow out from being worn down, having your nerves exposed creates problems like your teeth being sensitive to the cold.
5. Are your teeth cracked?
Instead of imagining your entire tooth being cracked in half, think of tiny little cracks that are hard to see with the naked eye. A magnifying glass can help you spot super small cracks. Cold can seep into your teeth through these cracks and cause that sensitivity.
6. Is your gum line receding?
Are your gums hugging your teeth the way they should be? If you notice your gums receding from your teeth, this is another way for cold to seep in and aggravate them.
How Can I Prevent My Teeth From Becoming Sensitive To Cold?
Now that you know the causes of cold teeth sensitivity, let’s talk about prevention. Even if your teeth feel fine, these tips are still good to follow to prevent future problems.
1. Straws are your friend.
Use a straw instead of drinking straight from the grass. This will prevent cold ice and liquid from hitting your teeth. The liquid will bypass your teeth altogether, providing wonderful refreshment without causing you discomfort.
2. You can still eat ice cream!
Simply change how you eat your ice cream. Instead of biting into an ice cream bar, lick it. Sure, it takes longer to eat that way, but this way you can enjoy cold treats without any discomfort.
3. Keep your mouth covered when it’s cold.
If you live where it’s cold, you’re probably all too familiar with cold wind hitting your teeth. Both cold air and wind chill can hurt your teeth. Try wearing a muffler and breathing through your nose when you’re outside in cold weather.
4. Brush and Floss.
The age-old “brush and floss!” that you’ve been hearing since you were a little kid remains true today. The enamel on your teeth will be protected as you properly brush and floss every day. This will also help with gum disease, cavities, and the other problems mentioned earlier in this article.
5. Be picky about your toothpaste.
While it’s important to brush your teeth every day, it’s also important to brush them properly. The toothpaste you use should have potassium nitrate, a natural soothing agent that helps prevent pain signals from being released inside your nerves.
You should also avoid sodium lauryl sulfate. This ingredient causes toothpaste to foam. While this helps clean your teeth, it can also bother them.
What Can I Do At Home To Help This Cold Sensitivity?
There are remedies you can try at home if your teeth are hurting from cold sensitivity.
1. Your diet could be a huge factor. Try not to eat foods that are hot or cold. Let hot foods cool down before biting into them. Let cold food melt until it’s cool instead of cold.
2. Pick a soft toothbrush for your sensitive teeth. If you use an electric toothbrush, use the lowest setting.
3. Pick a toothpaste that has potassium nitrate in it and remember to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate.
When Do I Need To See A Dentist About My Cold Sensitivity?
While many issues relating to cold teeth sensitivity can be treated at home, there are some instances when you should see your dentist.
If the cold sensitivity in your teeth lingers for days and is highly uncomfortable, you might have an abscess, a serious infection that requires medical treatment. If left untreated, you could end up needing a root canal or root canal therapy. By going to your dentist right away if you experience prolonged sensitivity to the cold, you’ll avoid future pain – literally!
Experiencing cold teeth sensitivity is painful and unpleasant. You can prevent many cold sensitivity issues for your teeth by drinking through a straw and not using your teeth to eat cold foods.
Mufflers, scarves, and even some coats/hoodies were made to protect your face from the freezing cold. Don’t be afraid to use them! They will truly help protect your teeth from the biting wind.
As easy as it can be to grab the cheapest toothbrush off the rack, it’s better to invest in a toothbrush with soft bristles that won’t aggravate your teeth. And when you’re shopping for toothpaste, remember that potassium nitrate is your friend while sodium lauryl sulfate is your enemy.
While many cold sensitivity issues can be resolved on your own, make sure you go to the dentist if you experience prolonged, intense sensitivity. While no one enjoys going to the dentist, it’s way better than needing a root canal or having a painful infection. Your teeth will thank you!
If you clicked on this article to learn more about cold teeth sensitivity, good job! Your teeth will thank you. And if you’re here because your teeth are sensitive right now, we hope your teeth are back to normal very soon.