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Why a tooth is sensitive

Have you experienced pain in your teeth, especially when consuming hot or cold foods or drinks? Or have your felt discomfort in your teeth when you eat something sweet? If so, you may have sensitive teeth that need attention and possibly medical intervention.

What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity can be caused by a number of things: dental caries, i.e. a cavity, receding gums, or, for example, inflammation of the dental nerve. Cavities are caused by microbes that get what they need to survive from sugars in the person’s diet. The microbes convert the sugars into acids, which damage the tooth, contributing to developing caries. In case of inflammation of the dental nerve, pain may be felt initially when chewing food or clenching teeth. If the inflammation is left untreated, the pain can manifest itself without any external irritant, causing sudden discomfort, and often even at night. Receding gums can be caused by using a toothbrush with too strong bristles or by brushing too intensely. As a result, the roots of the teeth may also be exposed, causing discomfort and reacting to changes in temperature.

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Toothache caused by cold

Cold-induced toothache can be dull as well as sharp, constant as well as as intermittent, and pain can be felt in one or more teeth. Since there are many possibilities, it is not a good idea to diagnose it yourself. There can be many reasons why teeth may start aching in the cold.

Common causes of pain include untreated cavities, inflamed teeth and gum disease, old fillings, cracks in the teeth, receding gums and teeth grinding.

If problems worsen in the cold, i.e. your teeth become even more sensitive, it is a good idea to tell your dentist. Breathe through your nose.

How can you protect your teeth?
Although it is not possible to completely protect your teeth from the winter cold, there are some ways to reduce the problems caused by the cold. The simplest way is to avoid breathing through your mouth and talking when you are out in a cold weather and to cover the lower half of your face with a scarf. However, people who find it infeasible to keep quiet outdoors, should try a precautionary approach to prevent problems.

Regardless of the time of year, toothpastes meant for sensitive teeth, containing potassium nitrate and arginine, can help reduce tooth sensitivity.

It is also a good idea to prefer toothpastes that contain fluoride and to generally practice good oral hygiene – for example, flossing will certainly help prevent tooth sensitivity.

However, if even using a special toothpaste does not help and the pain from the cold persists for several days, you should see a dentist immediately. Only a dentist can determine what exactly is causing the pain in the cold and therefore recommend the appropriate treatment.

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