What Causes Tooth Sensitivity to Cold?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 24, 2011

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Man having toothacheDental hypersensitivity is termed as the sharp pain experienced from the exposed dentin in response to any external stimuli. Eroded tooth enamel is the prime reason for developing sensitive teeth and it can be prevented only by maintaining proper oral hygiene. Tooth sensitivity to cold can be localised in a single tooth or it can affect all the teeth. Some people with a mild type of tooth sensitivity do not experience severe symptoms and they are quite used to it. Tooth sensitivity is felt even if one breathes in cold air or while washing one’s mouth with cold water during the winter. However, tooth sensitivity can be a permanent problem causing difficulties in eating either too cold or very hot food.

Expert dentist, Dr. Aman Arora, M.D.S., and a private practitioner in New Delhi is of the view that tooth sensitive to cold and hot food arises from damaged enamel and that can lead to tooth decay with the formation of pus filled abscess.


What Causes Tooth Sensitivity to Cold?

Irritation and inflammation of the internal dentinal nerves results in tooth sensitivity to cold and this can arise from a number of reasons.


  • Weakened and eroded tooth enamel exposes the internal nerves of the teeth producing a tingling sensation while in contact with cold food items and drinks.
  • Poor oral hygiene and oral diseases can cause erosion in the tooth enamel making it sensitive to cold.
  • Dental treatments such as scaling and polishing of teeth or root canal treatment can result in tooth sensitivity to cold.
  • Dental caries or cavities that penetrate deep into the root of the tooth expose the dentin. Whenever the exposed dentin comes in contact with cold food and beverages, it causes sharp pain.
  • Extensive brushing of teeth as a preventive measure for various tooth and gum diseases also erodes the tooth enamel causing tooth sensitivity to cold.
  • Wrong brushing techniques and the use of hard bristled tooth brushes cause dental abrasions and damage the tooth enamel resulting in tooth sensitivity to cold.
  • Sometimes a crack or a gap created in the tooth enamel can cause tooth sensitivity. However, this mostly happens in one or two teeth and can be easily treated by the dentist.
  • Excessive intake of acidic foods and beverages gradually erode the tooth enamel resulting in sensitive teeth. Restrict your intake of acidic foods and make sure to floss your mouth after eating such foods.


The enamel acts as the protective layer providing strength to the teeth enabling you to eat comfortably. Proper care of dental health must be taken maintaining oral hygiene and going for regular dental check-ups.


Read more articles on Tooth Decay.



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  • Dentist Fort Lauderdale08 May 2012

    Hello Pratima, I have found your article while touring in the blog land. 1st of all I would like to thank you for sharing this topic. Sensitivity problem is now a major issue. We can find this problem in almost all the age groups. As being Dentist Fort Lauderdale , I can suggest the readers - clean your teeth regularly, brush regularly, once in a while go to the doctor for routine check up. Thanks for sharing. keep it up. - http://www.implantdentistfortlauderdale.com

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