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Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

How Can Ice Cream Make Your Teeth Hurt?

How Can Ice Cream Make Your Teeth Hurt?

Sometimes a bite of ice cream will make your teeth hurt or give you an “ice cream” headache. The nerves in your teeth and the roof of your mouth are sensitive to cold. When you eat something very cold, these nerves may get chilled.

The sudden cooling causes them to flash a pain message to your brain, and you feel a pain in your temple or forehead and your teeth hurt. Your headache will go away and your teeth will stop hurting once the nerves warm up again and stop sending the cold-pain messages.

Tooth sensitivity is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin (the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel that contains the inner pulp), which results in nerve irritation.

When the hard enamel is worn down or gums have receded, causing the tiny tube surfaces to be exposed, pain can be caused by eating or drinking foods or hot or cold beverages, touching your teeth, or exposing them to cold air.

Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking, and breathing habits. The excessive consumption of acid-containing foods and beverages, such as citrus juices and fruits and soft drinks, can also put you at risk for tooth sensitivity.

Bulimia and acid reflux can also result in erosion of the hard enamel and sensitivity due to acid in the mouth.

Cold sensitive teeth are not uncommon, but it’s important to understand the difference between cold sensitive teeth and tooth decay or gum disease. Cold sensitive teeth occur when the nerves within the tooth are exposed due to receding gums or worn tooth enamel.

Content for this question contributed by Sherry Lauver, resident of York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA