Common Causes of Cold Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem.  During winter months as the temperatures drop and we are breathing in cold air, it may become even more noticeable.  Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel that protects our teeth gets thinner, becomes decayed, or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying root surface, called cementum.

Common Causes of Cold Sensitive Teeth

  • Most cold sensitivity occurs at the gum line from toothbrush abrasion
  • Dental caries
  • Acid erosion (weakening of tooth enamel) can occur as a result of consuming acidic foods such as; citrus fruits, tomatoes, orange juice, wine, soda drinks- including diet soda, sports drinks, sparkling water with lemon, iced tea, etc.
  • Inflammation of gum tissues surrounding teeth can loosen ligament support, which exposes the root surface
  • Use of whitening gels
  • Grinding or clinching teeth at night
  • Orthodontic treatment

The first step in treatment should begin with a visit to your dentist.  They will evaluate your condition and recommend treatment options that are right for you.  While your body cannot replace its lost enamel, there are many over-the-counter choices that can help reduce sensitivity.

  • Establish a good at home care regimen that includes proper tooth brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush for two minutes, twice a day.
  • Begin using a toothpaste with fluoride formulated for sensitive teeth.
  • Flossing at least once a day can remove plaque buildup and using a fluoride mouthwash rinse may help alleviate sensitivity.
  • Limit erosive foods and drinks as much as possible. Use a straw  to void direct contact with teeth.
  • Incorporate dairy products into your diet. Milk, cheese and yogurt contain caseins which help provide a protective protein layer that can buffer against acids throughout the day.
  • Drink tap water, fluoride is added to our water to help reduce tooth decay.

Just a few steps taken daily can help diminish cold sensitivity and have a positive effect on your oral health.

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