Questions on Cold Sensitivity


Apr 17, 2018
My teeth are sensitive to cold (even room temperature) liquids. I had one side of my mouth cleaned (dental prophy) almost 3 weeks ago, and that side has more sensitivity than the other side (which had not been professionally cleaned for 15-20 years). Here are my questions:

1.) If tooth sensitivity is always due to exposed dentin, does this mean that many of my teeth have areas where the enamel has completely worn away or the gums have receded and the cementum has worn away - exposing the underlying dentin?

2.) If a professional cleaning (i.e., scaling with manual instruments) makes sensitivity worse - what does this imply? Does it imply that calculus was covering exposed dentin and the calculus was removed during the cleaning, or can the cleaning remove root structure in the process of calculus removal?

3.) In people who develop sensitivity after professional cleaning that goes away in several weeks, what is the mechanism for the sensitivity going away?



Verified Dentist
Mar 18, 2018
1. Sometimes due to gum disease, sometimes due to enamel abrasion. If gum diease, then a thorough cleaning will often lead to diminished sensitivity as gums heal.
2. Teeth often sensitive for a few days after cleaning, esp if you haven't had one for 15-20 years. Should settle with time; can help to use sensitivity toothpaste during this time.
3. Gums heal up, dentinal tubules block up. Avoid acidic foods/drinks that would cause the tubules to stay open!
If this doesn't start to settle soon, go back to dentist - I can't suggest more here without examination.


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