Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Drink Cold Water?

There are various reasons why your teeth might hurt when you drink cold water.  Although most stores offer products that can relieve the pain, some dental problems will require the services of a dentist.

Aggressive Brushing

In many cases, tooth sensitivity occurs when teeth are brushed with extreme force.  Aggressive brushing causes problems because it wears down your teeth’s protective layers and overlying gum tissue. Over time, the canals that lead to the nerves will become exposed.  When acidic, hot, or cold foods access the nerves, there will be some discomfort.  This is why you should always brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and with only a small amount of toothpaste.

Tooth Grinding

If you grind your teeth at night, your enamel will slowly wear away.  If you don‘t seek a solution, the dentin in the middle of your tooth will become exposed.  You can solve this problem by obtaining a mouth guard from your dentist.  Mouth guards that are sold at stores are not as satisfactory because they are not customized to fit your bite, and are flexible.

Tooth-Whitening Toothpaste

Some toothpaste manufacturers place harsh stain oxidizing chemicals in their formulas.  If your teeth are sensitive, the chemicals might cause pain after you drink a cold drink.  If your toothpaste is causing discomfort, talk to your dentist about a suitable alternative to whitening.

Gum Disease

Receding gums can cause tooth sensitivity by exposing the porous root.  When a live root is touched or exposed to cold temperature, liquids or air, the natural tubules communicate the external stimuli to the nerve as pain.  The cause of the gum disease will need to be addressed along with the resulting tooth sensitivity.

Bacterial Plaque

If you effectively brush and floss regularly, plaque is typically not an issue.  However, if plaque remains on teeth, the acid it produces will dissolve away your enamel.  Without the protection of the enamel, your teeth will become sensitive.

Cracked Tooth

When a tooth is cracked or chipped exposure of the dentin will cause sensitivity to cold, and flexing of the tooth structure can cause biting pressure pain.  A dentist must examine the tooth to determine the proper treatment options.  Usually, the tooth will need a crown to hold the fragments together and replace missing parts; however, if the fracture is too severe, the tooth might be lost.

Decay or Leaking Around Old Fillings

Over the course of time and pressure, the fillings may fracture, weaken, or leak along the edges. When this happens, bacteria can collect in the tiny crevices.  Over time, the bacteria will generate acid, which will breakdown your tooth structure and cause cold sensitivity and bad breath.

All tooth sensitivity issues are treatable and the treatment will depend on the cause.  In some cases, a dentist may apply a fluoride varnish to specific areas that are sensitive.  This can immediately decrease the pain.  However, because all sensitivity problems require a diagnosis before treating them, you should bring sensitivity to your dentist’s attention at your visit, so he/she can recommend the best solution for your specific needs.

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