If you feel a sharp, severe and short pain when you eat or drink something cold or in very special circumstances hot or sweet, you could have what’s known as tooth sensitivity.
This can happen for some reasons naturally over a time as people get older or can be produced by some bad habits or wrong method of brushing. Overall anything that pushes the gum away and exposes the root of the tooth will end up with sensitivity on the tooth. Reason is, root of the tooth is not covered by enamel (the protective layer of the tooth) and has lots of very tiny canals, called tubules, from outside toward inside of the tooth, where the nerve is, and transfers the cold to the nerve, causing sharp pain.
Of course this is not the only reason for tooth sensitivity and problems like a failing filling or a cracked tooth can cause the same feeling.
The best thing to do is to be preventive! But, there are different options to manage the sensitivity depending on the cause and the extent of sensitivity. The simplest and most conservative way is to use Sensodyne or sensitive toothpaste. The best way would be apply the tooth paste with your finger over the teeth, leave it for 2 minutes and then brush with that for another 2 minutes. If you don’t give time to the tooth paste to stay on your teeth it won’t work. Usually sensitive tooth pastes block the open tubules over the root or dentine and remove the sensitivity. Also they make enamel stronger and more resistant to acids.
If you have sensitive teeth, it would be a good idea if you use just sensitive tooth paste or Sensodyne for at least 6 month or forever and do not use any other toothpaste in conjunction with that. Also limit your soft drink or acidic foods or stop having them for couple of weeks until you feel sensitivity is gone.
Another product that can be used not only to reduce sensitivity but also to protect your teeth against decay is Tooth Mousse Plus. This product contains fluoride and CPP-ACP that is derived from milk casein and in contact with saliva releases calcium and phosphate that bonds with tooth structure, closes the tubules and removes the sensitivity. You can buy Tooth Mousse Plus from your dentist and not the chemist.
Please note these are just general advices and we strongly suggest seeing your dentist to make sure that your pain is not due to a tooth crack or decay.