Young woman holding a toothbrush

My Teeth Hurt When I Eat Something Cold. Do I Have Sensitive Teeth?

Around 50 percent of adults suffer from sensitive teeth.

If your teeth hurt when you eat or drink something cold, you may be part of this statistic. Sensitive teeth can be an indicator of larger oral health problems.

Read below to discover if you have sensitive teeth and what to do about it.

Signs of Sensitive Teeth

The most common sign of sensitive teeth is a sharp pain when eating or drinking something cold. The pain can is also caused by hot or spicy food and drinks.

You may have sensitive teeth if you experience pain when eating sugary or sour foods. Pain can also occur when breathing cold air or brushing your teeth. Some people also experience sensitive teeth after whitening procedures.

It’s not likely you have sensitive teeth if any of these signs occur once. Look out for repeated pain and keep track of what causes the pain.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth

Tooth sensitivity occurs when your enamel wears down or your gums recede. This exposes the dentin, a layer of sensitive tissue. The cause of this can be due to a variety of reasons.

Tooth decay is the most common reason behind sensitive teeth. Tooth decay affects all age groups but is increasing in children under five years old.

Sugar is the main culprit behind tooth decay. A diet that consists of high sugar wears down enamel and leads to sensitive teeth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause your teeth to rot and fall out.

Gum disease can mean disaster for your mouth and lead to sensitive teeth. The build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth causes your gums to swell. If left untreated, this build-up causes gingivitis.

When your gums aren’t healthy, your teeth aren’t happy. Gum disease and gingivitis cause other issues, but sensitivity is bound to happen.

Grinding your teeth wreaks havoc on your teeth. Most people grind their teeth without knowing when they are asleep or stressed.

You may not even realize you have this bad habit until it leads to bigger issues. If you do grind your teeth while you sleep, you might also suffer from headaches and a sore jaw in the morning.

When you grind your teeth, you damage the enamel and expose the nerves. This causes your teeth to be more sensitive. Grinding your teeth is also called bruxism.

Improper Oral Hygiene

Neglecting proper oral hygiene is never good for your teeth. Your teeth may become sensitive if you don’t brush them enough. Proper brushing gets rid of the harmful plaque and tartar that leads to gum disease.

You also have to be careful not to brush too often or too hard. If you use a hard-bristle toothbrush this can work against you and break down the enamel. You have to brush a lot for this to occur but it can happen.

Here are a few other causes of sensitive teeth:

  • Bad eating habits
  • Cracks in a tooth or filling
  • Excessive teeth whitening
  • Exposed nerve roots
  • Receding gums

Remember that your sensitive teeth can due to a variety of these reasons. A visit to the dentist can help you pinpoint your leading cause and get you headed in the right direction.

How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth

The easiest way to prevent sensitive teeth is to practice proper oral hygiene. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day. Use a fluoride mouthwash and floss to help get rid of any remaining bacteria.

Here are a few other ways to prevent sensitive teeth:

  • Drink large amounts of water to wash away bacteria.
  • Use a soft toothbrush.
  • Avoid hot or cold foods that you’ve identified as triggers.
  • Don’t consume food or drinks with high acidity.
  • Visit your dentist for preventative check-ups.

Your toothpaste can also help prevent sensitive teeth. Different brands create special toothpaste to help fight sensitive teeth. Read the label or talk to your dentist to help find the right toothpaste for you.

At-Home Pain Remedies For Sensitive Teeth

When the pain strikes and your teeth hurt, finding immediate relief is important. If you have a dentist appointment scheduled but need relief now, try at-home remedies.

Try using coconut oil to relieve the pain. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth for around 15 minutes. The oil contains analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which will help relieve your pain. You can do this once a day.

Essential oils are popular right now to help control a variety of pain. Mix clove oil with coconut oil and apply it on your gums to relieve pain. Leave the mixture on for five minutes and then rinse away the pain. Tea tree oil can work with the exact same method and offer similar results.

Daily salt water rinses can also help with sensitive teeth. Mix a half teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water. Mix the solution well and use it to rinse your mouth. The salt will reduce inflammation, which helps with pain. Do this twice a day to see the best results.

It’s important to remember that if you don’t solve the underlying problem, the pain will come back. At-home remedies can be helpful to relieve the pain but they are a temporary solution.

Need More Help Battling Sensitive Teeth?

If you’ve tried all the at-home remedies and you still have sensitive teeth, you need expert help. Your dentist will provide long-term pain relief and correct the original problem.

Your solution to sensitive teeth could include in-office treatments. These treatments apply desensitizing agents or protective coating to your sensitive teeth. Your dentist may also provide you with take-home products to help the issue. In severe cases, a root canal treatment may be necessary.

DeeKay Dental provides modern, hygienic practices in the Sheffield area. The team will work hard to identify the underlying cause of your sensitive teeth and treat it. With a wide range of treatments, we will be able to meet all your oral hygiene needs.

Contact us for a free consultation today.