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How to Deal with Tooth Sensitivity to Cold


Most of us enjoy cold beverages or ice creams on a hot summer day. However, consuming frozen desserts and beverages can hurt if your teeth are sensitive to cold. Over 40 million people in the US deal with dental sensitivity, and sensitivity to cold is quite common. If left untreated, it can worsen.

The frequently occurring dental problem of tooth sensitivity is also called dentin hypersensitivity. It causes pain or discomfort in one or more teeth while having hot, cold, sweet, sour, or acidic meals and beverages. The layer under the enamel and above the pulp of the tooth, called dentin, contains tiny tubes that get exposed. These tubes contain nerve endings that can be activated by variations in pressure or temperature, inducing pain.

Symptoms of tooth sensitivity

After eating or drinking something cold, discomfort is the predominant sign of sensitive teeth. The intensity of this discomfort ranges from mild to severe. Dental hygiene may suffer if brushing or flossing causes pain. Other symptoms of sensitive teeth are –

  • Pain or discomfort when having meals or beverages that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic.
  • Discomfort or pain when breathing cold air.
  • Discomfort or pain during flossing or brushing.
  • Shooting ache in several teeth.
  • Frequent pain and discomfort.
  • Tingling or burning sensation in teeth.

Tooth sensitivity is impossible to diagnose on your own. Your doctor can identify the root of the discomfort and the best course for therapy or treatment.

Causes of sensitivity

Coca Cola Cans and Glasses With Lines

There are several major causes of sensitive teeth, including –

1. Tooth decay: A deep cavity or infection can cause the tooth’s nerve to become exposed, leading to sensitivity.

2. Gum disease: Receding gums can expose the roots of the teeth, making them more sensitive.

3. Worn-out tooth enamel: Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause enamel erosion, making teeth more sensitive.

4. Teeth grinding: Grinding your teeth can wear down tooth enamel and cause sensitivity.

5. Acidic foods and drinks: Consuming foods and beverages high in acid can deteriorate tooth enamel, making them more sensitive.

6. Teeth whitening: Some people may experience sensitivity after teeth whitening procedures.

7. Dental work: Certain dental procedures, such as fillings, dental crowns and onlays, or implants, can cause temporary sensitivity.

8. Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as acid reflux or sinusitis, can cause sensitivity.

Ways to treat sensitivity

There are many ways to treat sensitivity to cold. You don’t have to live with it. Treatment depends on the cause of sensitivity, so you should consult your dentist and get a dental examination. Treatments to stop the pain and sensitivity may include- 

1. Fluoride treatment- A common method to reduce tooth sensitivity and strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride is a mineral naturally present in many foods and water sources.

It helps strengthen tooth enamel by remineralizing the tooth surface and reversing the early stages of tooth decay. It also helps reduce tooth sensitivity by blocking the pathways that lead to the tooth’s nerve.

2. Dietary changes- Dietary adjustments may be necessary to eliminate tooth sensitivity in addition to fluoride treatments. These adjustments include eliminating acidic items from your diet because they can impact tooth enamel.

Foods high in calcium and phosphate, such as dairy products, can help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity. A balanced diet can provide the nutrition your body needs to maintain good oral health.

3. Healthier brushing habits- Improving your brushing habit can also eliminate cold sensitivity. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of a hard-bristled one, and avoid brushing forcefully.

Man in White Shirt Brushing Teeth

Alternate your toothbrush’s motion while being gentle. Brushing too hard can cause slight bleeding. Also, stiff bristles can wear down tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth sensitivity.

4. Dental procedure- Some procedures can also help reduce sensitivity. In case of an exposed nerve ending, the doctor may apply a sealant to the exposed parts of the tooth to reduce sensitivity. 

If receding gums cause sensitivity, a gum graft may be necessary to cover the exposed root and reduce sensitivity. There’s also pain reduction by removing gum tissue from another part of the mouth and attaching it to an exposed area.


Proper and timely treatment can eliminate tooth sensitivity to cold. However, it can reappear if you keep your dental routines the same. You need to discuss with your dentist about your dental health before considering any treatment. To avoid issues in the future, continue practicing good hygiene, including brushing and flossing daily and scheduling dental checkups every six months.

Regular dental appointments are equally crucial, particularly if you get toothaches after drinking or eating cold things frequently. Identifying the source of your sensitivity is essential before taking any treatment. 

So book an appointment with Genuine Dental Arts to get the best dental care experience and eliminate tooth sensitivity.