It's common for hot and cold foods to trigger tooth sensitivity, but if you have excessive pain – you may have extremely sensitive teeth caused by another dental issue. Only your dentist will be able to determine the cause and discuss appropriate treatment with you.
What is tooth sensitivity?
The crowns, or the part of the teeth above your gumline, are
covered with a layer of protective enamel, while the roots below your gumline
are protected with a material called cementum. Underneath the enamel and
cementum is dentine, which is less dense than the protective coverings. The
dentine contains microscopic canals called dentine tubules, and when enamel or
cementum wears away or becomes damaged, it exposes the dentine. When your gums
recede and expose the dentine, the tubules allow fluid to flow in them and are
affected by heat and cold causing the nerves in the tooth to cause you tooth pain.
Because extremely sensitive teeth are frequently caused by a more complex dental problem, it's important to see a dentist and have the issue treated directly. This may involve a filling, crown, inlay or other restoration, depending on the problem.
If you have persistent and severe sensitivity pain, see your
dentist to find out the cause.
Your dentist may recommend that you use a desensitising toothpaste to provide relief from the pain of sensitivity. Products such as Colgate® Sensitive Pro-Relief™ contain ingredients that help to block the channels that lead to sensitivity. Your dentist might also recommend further treatments, so discuss your symptoms with him or her.