Preventing Tooth Sensitivity Caused by Cold Foods or Drinks

Say Goodbye to Tooth Sensitivity

Start effectively managing your tooth sensitivity today with these simple preventive measures.

This fall season, as we begin layering up and protecting our bodies from the cold- why don’t we do the same for our teeth?!

If you’ve ever experienced a sharp pain in the teeth while enjoying a popsicle or ice-cold refreshment, you’re certainly not alone. Many people experience tooth sensitivity, or dentinal hypersensitivity, when our teeth are exposed to especially cold temperatures - or even when we eat something hot or sweet.

However, the key to avoiding this type of situation is to take preventative measures, which we’ll get into further down.

Firstly, determining the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity will help you to take the right preventative action. Causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Worn enamel – this can be caused by foods or drinks high in acid, through aggressive brushing techniques, or a bruxism (teeth grinding) habit - commonly occurring during sleep when the person is not aware they are doing it
  • Gum recession/ gums that have pulled back from the teeth as a result of gum disease, an aggressive brushing style, or simply aging
  • Tooth decay or cavities that require filling
  • Fracture or breakage in the tooth
  • Failed/old fillings that must be replaced.

Can you find the cause of your tooth sensitivity? Knowing this is important.

If you think your sensitivity may be due to an old/worn or broken filling, or due to a fracture or chip, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. The longer you go without addressing your potential problem with a professional, the more extensive the treatment you may require.

Some effective ways you can prevent tooth sensitivity and reduce your discomfort in the meantime include:

Use a toothpaste designed to combat sensitivity

There are certain toothpaste products available that work to desensitize the tooth through blocking the tubules in the dentin layer, or by essentially “numbing” the nerves in the tubules.

Strengthen and protect your teeth with fluoride

Fluoride is a very effective ingredient for strengthening the tooth enamel and helping to prevent the development of decay, which is a leading cause of tooth sensitivity and pain.

Limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks

By reducing the amount of sugars and acids you expose your teeth to, you’ll be helping to protect them from enamel erosion. Acidic and sweet foods/beverages include citrus fruits and juices, vinegar-based salad dressings, candies (particularly ones that stick to the teeth), processed sweet snacks and cereals

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, and brush gently

A healthy brushing technique is essential in order to protect the teeth from wear and ultimately, sensitivity. Gentle brushing using a soft-bristled brush is kind to the teeth, helping you to avoid enamel wear or gum recession with cleaning.

Wear a mouth guard if you suffer from bruxism

Many people habitually grind their teeth, especially at night during sleep when they aren’t aware they’re doing so. Unfortunately, this also causes wear to the teeth that can leave them susceptible to sensitivity. The good news is, wearing a protective mouth guard will help to prevent further dental damage from occurring.

Still can’t seem to eliminate your tooth sensitivity?

It may be time to see our dentist in Burlington. Schedule your visit with our friendly and experienced Dr. Toong today, and let’s get you on the path to a pain-free smile again!