An Icy Sensation
Cold sensitivity is a common complaint we hear at our office. When a chilly sensation hits one or several of your teeth, it may leave you feeling an icy “ouch.” The severity of cold sensitivity varies from individual to individual. It can be an occasional annoyance, but it can also feel like a brutal winter in your mouth. Either way, cold sensitivity could be a sign of a bigger concern. Waiting could lead to more discomfort, so you’ll want to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Questioning Cold Sensitivity
With winter approaching, it can be tempting to associate the chilly weather with any cold-related discomfort. You may be thinking about your tooth’s cold sensitivity more than usual. Why is this even happening in the first place? Cold sensitivity occurs when there’s damage to the enamel (outer layer of your tooth) or when roots are exposed. An external cold agent that touches the tooth causes sensitivity for a number of different reasons.
Brushing too hard, gum disease, an abscess, grinding, or cavities could be at the root of the problem, so to speak. Keep in mind that the list goes on from there because cold sensitivity is a symptom of several conditions. Since many possible causes exist, a dentist will need to take a look to identify the problem and guide you towards the best treatment option. Ultimately, when it comes to cold sensitivity, the first step towards finding relief is to make an appointment with your dentist. In the meantime, you can take several actions to minimize the impact of discomfort.
Swap Your Toothpaste and Toothbrush
Brushing hard may sound like a good idea when removing particles from your teeth, but this practice can be harmful. Vigorous brushing could damage the enamel or cause recession at the gum line, which can all result in cold sensitivity. Use a soft-bristled brush with light strokes over your teeth. Remember that you are not scrubbing a stain out of the carpet. Instead, think about gently wiping the window. Your teeth are part of the body. Treat them with care. In addition to the soft-bristled brush, choose a non-abrasive toothpaste to further protect the enamel.
We get it. Food, especially around the holidays, is delicious and often irresistible. Hopefully, your appointment will come soon so you can enjoy all your meals to the fullest. If you haven’t seen the dentist yet, consider possible food triggers for cold sensitivity. For example, acidic foods and drinks are known for wearing down the enamel. On top of cold substances, anything high in acidity could also aggravate sensitive spots on your teeth. If you must eat or drink something that causes cold sensitivity, try to minimize the effect it has on you. Chew on the opposite side of the mouth and eat in smaller pieces instead of chomping directly into food. Thinking about how to eat ahead of time could really save you from a cold-sensitive ache.
Discontinue Whitening Products
Entering the new year with a brighter smile invites a sense of positive change. Beauty might come at a cost though as the substances in white bleaching agents can result in dreaded cold sensitivity. If you are already prone to sensitive teeth, whitening might intensify the issue. Discontinuing these products could make a huge difference in terms of relief. You might find leaving out the whitening products helpful until you make it to the dentist. They will be able to determine if whitening is a good fit or if you should try a different product.
Keep Your Dental Appointment
If your tooth starts to feel a little better, it can be tempting to back out of the appointment. If you ever have an issue with cold sensitivity, you’ll want to have it checked out. It could return at an inconvenient time or come back worse than before depending on the cause. A dentist can offer peace of mind or solutions in preventing cold sensitivity from interrupting your day. No one deserves to face daily sensitivity, whether it be minor or severe discomfort. Make a point to care for your teeth so you can be smiling all winter long.
Cold weather may be here, but your cold tooth doesn’t need to follow suit. We invite you to our office so we can take a look at that sensitive tooth.