Cold-Hearted Tooth Truth

Ever bite into an ice cream cone and experience a strange jolt of pain? Or drink something cold and feel like a needle is piercing a nerve in your mouth? New research may soon help us better treat this dental pain one day.


We know that the discomfort you experience is the result of damage to the tooth’s protective layer. But new research on tooth sensitivity includes Star Wars-sounding terms like “odontoblasts” which are cells in the pulp of our teeth that produce dentin, the part of the tooth beneath the enamel. When the protective outer enamel on top of the dentin is damaged, we experience sensitivity and pain.

Perceived Pain

In the journal ScienceAdvances, biologists recently reported that they’ve identified a protein inside the cells called TRPC5.  Within the odontoblasts, TRPC5 receives signals for cold and a message is sent to our nerves. Study authors therefore determined that TRPC5 active in the odontoblasts aid in “perception” of pain.

Old-Fashioned Help

The study also discusses how a substance called eugenol keeps the TRPC5 from opening. Eugenol is the main ingredient found in oil of cloves, which has been a traditional treatment for toothache for centuries. However, there isn’t a lot of scientific research to support eugenol’s usage in terms of pain and infection fighting.

Gum Recession

Exposed tooth roots can not only become unattractive, they can make your teeth more sensitive. We reverse and correct gingival recession with gum grafts. To learn more about our various periodontal therapies to help you avoid dental pain and maintain a healthy, attractive smile, contact us today to see one of our highly acclaimed periodontists by phoning 561-912-9993. You can also fill in our periodontal questionnaire and give us your questions/concerns.