Why Does Cold Hurt My Tooth?

This is a very common occurrence, you are enjoying a cold beverage and out of no where comes a severe shooting pain that takes over all your senses.  What is going on there? why does it hurt?

Pain in teeth when exposed to cold beverages or foods is what is called “temperature sensitivity.” Under normal conditions, teeth will sense cold but it can get uncomfortable under certain conditions. If a nerve is irritated or inflamed, the cold sensitivity will get worse and linger to a point that may become unbearable which may lead to your dentist recommending a root canal.

The reason cold becomes painful in some situations is a decrease in the pain threshold in that nerve. This happens when inflammation takes hold in the nerve and the tooth becomes tender. Temperatures that did not cause pain before inflammation become unbearable and can cause spontaneous pain to start and the dreaded “throbbing” toothache.

If the cold pain does not linger for more than a few seconds and there is no spontaneous unsolicited pain, then desensitizing tooth paste may help. Typical brand names are Sensodyne or Crest Pro Health.

Please comment with questions and I will be happy to post on specific issues as they comes up.

Dr. Cyber


Author: Cyber Endodontist

I am a practicing endodontist (root canal specialist) in Texas, I wanted to start a blog through which people can learn what an endodontist is and ask questions about root canals. There is a LOT of misinformation in the public, I wanted to help shed some light on endodontics.

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