Tooth sensitivity to cold is the overstimulation of the nerves in the teeth due to substances at low temperature. Tooth sensitivity can be temporary or chronic and can affect one tooth or affect several teeth.
There are two situations as to why you may have sensitive teeth. The first one is due to an unhealthy tooth nerve. When there is damage to the tooth’s nerve, it may send the false signal that something is wrong, thus causing pain. This is common when people hit their teeth with something, which causes them to be sensitive for a couple of days and goes away on its own. In the second situation, there is actual damage to the tooth, which the nerve correctly interprets and sends the signal to the brain.
To understand what causes sensitive teeth, we need to know about the tooth structure. A tooth is composed of three different layers, which are enamel, dentin, and pulp.
There are no nerve endings in the enamel, so technically, there should not be sensitivity in healthy teeth.
There are some nerve endings in the dentin; therefore, they can send discomfort signals when being in contact with cold or hot substances.
Finally, we have the tooth pulp, which contains lots of nerve fibers. If food reaches the pulp, then there is going to be sensitivity and even pain in the teeth.
Therefore, teeth sensitivity is caused by certain substances reaching the denting and, consequently, the tooth pulp.
In addition to tooth sensitivity to cold, what other causes generate sensitivity?
Brushing too hard: Brushing too hard can cause gum recession and enamel damage, translating into sensitive teeth.
Bruxism: Clenching of the teeth due to stress. Bruxism can occur while awake or while sleeping (night bruxism).
Gum recession: When gums recede, dentin gets exposed. Dentin has small holes that directly communicate to the pulp, which is what causes sensitivity.
Eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages: Acidic foods and drinks damage the tooth enamel. These foods and beverages include sodas, candies, lemon juice, coffee, tea, and more.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD): GERD can cause stomach acid to come all the way up to the mouth. Stomach acids are corrosive substances that can damage teeth pretty quickly.
Is sensitivity after a filling normal?
Sometimes a tooth can become sensitive after a filling. However, this sensitivity should resolve in a couple of weeks at most. If you had a filling some time ago and still have a sensitive tooth, you will need to visit your dentist.
Tooth sensitivity after a crown
There can also be sensitivity after getting a new crown placed. But as stated before, this is normal during the first couple of weeks, but you should visit your dentist if the sensitivity does not cease.
Where to fix tooth sensitivity in the Phoenix Metro area?
If you have sensitive teeth and want to know the causes and fix them, you can come to Somos Dental. You can call us at 623-869-1091 or fill our online form and get a free appointment. We are located at six places in Downtown Phoenix, Mesa, Camelback, Avondale, Desert Sky Mall, and Laveen.
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