Why Are My Teeth Sensitive to Temperature?

girl with beanie sensitive to the cold

Do you find yourself wincing after a sip of hot coffee or a bite of ice cream? If so, your teeth may be more sensitive than normal. At Dental Solutions of Avon, this is such a common complaint we hear from our patients that today we want to share some wisdom on common causes of tooth sensitivity as well as share some ways we treat it.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Although it is certainly annoying, tooth sensitivity is a common condition that can usually be treated. Your teeth may be more sensitive than normal because your enamel has worn down, your gums have receded, or you may even have microscopic cracks in your teeth. When your enamel (the protective outer coating of teeth and the hardest surface in your body) gets damaged, it can expose the inner layers of the tooth.

The same thing happens when gums recede, or cracks develop in your teeth—parts of your tooth that should be protected are now exposed. When this more sensitive part of the tooth touches foods or drinks that are especially hot or cold, it can be painful.

What Can You Do About Tooth Sensitivity?

Luckily, our patients are usually able to treat their tooth sensitivity by making one or more changes. First, make it a point to brush your teeth more gently. Although you might think vigorous brushing is a quick substitute for gently brushing for two minutes, brushing too vigorously wears away on your enamel and can cause gums to get irritated and recede. While you’re at it, double check that you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Another way to manage your tooth sensitivity is to be more conscious of what you’re eating. Highly acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, and even coffee might be damaging your enamel.

If you’re experiencing especially sensitive teeth, our team may even recommend changing your toothpaste brand or adding a mouthwash with fluoride to your routine. Fluoride can help repair tooth enamel through a process called remineralization. To ask our team any additional questions or to schedule your next visit to our office, call us today!

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