What causes sensitivity to cold items?

Exposed Gums
Gum recession causes the gums to become exposed and is the most common cause of sensitivity to cold items. When the gum recedes, it shrinks away from the roots of the teeth and reveals a softer and porous dentin layer. Dentin contains many hollow tubules which contain fluids that signal the nerves. When cold items are consumed, the fluid triggers signals to the nerves causing pain.

Acid Wear
Tooth enamel that is lost due to acid wear causes cold sensitivity as well. Acid wear is caused by a diet high in acidic foods or GERD, which is a gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Teeth Grinding
Constant grinding or clenching of the teeth causes teeth to become shorter in height. When teeth are too short due to grinding or clenching, it exposes the inner dentin layer of your teeth and leads to tooth sensitivity.

Teeth Whitening Products
Products such as whitening strips and professional dental whitening can cause tooth sensitivity. If sensitivity is caused due to whitening, it usually subsides a few days after whitening is finished. Use of abrasive whitening toothpaste thins out the enamel and results in permanent sensitivity in some cases.

Dental Cavities
A dental cavity may cause sensitivity and pain. If you experience sensitivity or pain while eating, you should see your dentist soon.


Tooth Sensitivity Treatment

Sensitivity Toothpaste
Daily use of a sensitivity toothpaste is often the best treatment for sensitivity to cold items. Toothpaste designed to treat sensitivity work by blocking the tubules in teeth, or by desensitizing the nerves of the teeth.

Dental Varnish
Your dental professional may apply a protective layer of varnish to the exposed tooth roots. The varnish helps block the tubules and provides relief of tooth sensitivity. This varnish needs to be reapplied as it wears away over time.

Limit Acidic Items
Limiting acidic items such as wine, pop, tea, coffee, juice, tomatoes, vinaigrette salad dressings, etc., will help minimize acid wear to the enamel.

Gum Grafting
Gum grafting aims to cover the exposed areas of the tooth that were previously covered by healthy gums. Covering the root portion of the tooth helps to reduce sensitivity by covering the tubules that trigger sensitivity pain.

Schedule your visit today to discuss any tooth sensitivity issues you are having, and possible treatment options.

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