Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

May 24, 2012

Tooth sensitive to cold after wisdom tooth extraction

Dr. Hall,

I had my wisdom teeth removed three weeks ago, and the gums appear to be healing well. However I have been experiencing increased tooth sensitivity to the cold. It began just at the sites where the extraction occurred but has now spread to most of my top teeth. I plan to buy some tooth sensitivity toothpaste, but was wondering if this is a normal side effect? Will it go away with time? And is it a concern that the sensitivity has spread through my mouth?

Miffy from Australia.

Occasionally, after the extraction of a wisdom tooth, the tooth right in front of it will become more sensitive to cold or air. This happens rarely on the lower and a little more often on the upper. The reason is that, with the removal of the wisdom tooth and possibly some of the bone that was holding it in, part of the root surface of the adjacent tooth becomes exposed making the tooth sensitive. While this root can be treated to make it less sensitive, it is easier and less expensive to begin brushing with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne. If that doesn’t work, then I would ask your dentist to see if he or she has any desensitizing treatments available in the office.

This sensitivity could increase with time as the tissue at the extraction site heals and shrinks, but it should not spread to other teeth. Sometimes one tooth can be sensitive and it can feel like the teeth around it are also sensitive. To be on the safe side, I would go back to your dentist to see if there is something else wrong. Perhaps there is some deep decay or something else is going on here.
– Dr. Hall

Link: When is a tooth sensitive to air?

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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