Your tooth is sensitive to hot and cold when the tooth nerves have been irritated. In many cases, this occurs when fluid moves through your dentin, the inner layer of your teeth below the enamel. This is an indication that your tooth enamel has become thin, and may also be a sign that your gums are receding. While this usually happens when you’re drinking very cold or hot beverages, it can also occur when your teeth have become
exposed to cold air. Your teeth may also become sensitive to touch.
Is it normal for my tooth to hurt when I drink something cold?
Many patients report that their tooth is sensitive to hot and cold; in fact, it’s one of the most common complaints in the dentist’s office. Estimates have stated that more than 40 million adults in the United States suffer from sensitive teeth. When tooth enamel becomes worn down, it exposes the inner layer of dentin. When cold moves through the dentin, you may experience pain, making it difficult to enjoy iced beverages or even ice cream. You may feel the need to change your eating and drinking habits, which can have an impact on your quality and enjoyment of life, and may affect your health as well.
What should I do if my tooth gets cold when I drink?
In most cases, tooth sensitivity can be treated using a special toothpaste that has been specially formulated to help desensitize your teeth. Your dentist may prescribe a specific toothpaste for you to use, or may give you a recommendation for a specific brand of over-the-counter toothpaste from your local drugstore. Avoid using any toothpastes that contain abrasives such as baking soda or silica, as these can cause further wear to your tooth enamel, making the problem worse. The same is true of whitening products and toothpastes.
In many cases, your dentist may also recommend a change in toothbrushes. Many patients use a toothbrush with bristles that are far too harsh; these can cause additional wear on your tooth enamel, causing your teeth to become more sensitive than usual. In more extreme cases, you may need to receive an in-office treatment to help desensitize your teeth and make it easier for you to once again enjoy the food and drink that you love.