Why are my teeth sensitive to cold or hot drinks?
Do you feel sensitivity in your teeth when you eat or drink something too cold or too hot? You’re not alone. Today, 1 in 8 adults have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is commonly triggered by hot and cold foods. However, having pain along with other symptoms, such as swollen gums or pain when chewing, could mean that your extremely sensitive teeth are caused by other dental issues. Your dentist can identify the problem and give a suitable treatment.
What is Tooth Sensitivity?
The visible upper part of the teeth, just above your gum line, is known as the crown. The crowns are covered with layers of protective enamel. Below your gumline are your roots which are protected by cementum. Underneath the enamel and cementum is dentin, which is less dense than the other protective coverings. When enamel and cementum wear off or become damaged, dentin is exposed. When gums recede, exposing the dentin, tubules within the dentin allow cold and hot fluids to flow into them, causing the nerves to feel sensitivity and pain.
Reasons why the enamel and cementum wear off include over-consumption of acidic foods and beverages, brushing teeth too often or too hard, using too many tooth-whitening products, or clenching or grinding your teeth. Hypersensitivity or extremely sensitive teeth is likely caused by the resulting exposed dentin. Exposed dentin can also be caused by tooth decay, worn out fillings, or fractured teeth.
You can find relief by using toothpastes for sensitivity which contain ingredients that help protect the surfaces of the teeth. Ask your dentist to recommend the best products for sensitivity treatments. Extreme teeth sensitivity may also be caused by a more complex dental issue. It is important to visit your dentist and have your condition diagnosed correctly.