Why Do You Get That Jolt of Pain When You Bite Into Ice Cream?

In Education

When you bite into ice cream, most times, you’re going to end up experiencing a jolt of pain. Researchers from Germany and the US that they now know where this pain comes from. They’ve identified specific cells located in the teeth known as ‘odontoblasts.’ 

According to a report published in Mail Online, these cells are loaded with special proteins that don’t react well with extreme cold. These proteins are the ones that alert the brain when something chilled is being consumed. The researchers said that the development of drugs and medications focused on these particular sensory proteins could encourage the rise of new cold-sensitivity therapies. 

Cold sensitivity is often way more extreme in people who’ve got cavities where the tooth’s protective enamel gets worn out microbes and acid.

Untreated Cavities 

Roughly around 1/3 of the world’s population or 2.4 billion people have untreated cavities in their permanent teeth. 

David Clapham, a neurobiologist in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, didn’t initially focus on teeth when he started his research. Instead, their research paper which the Sciences Advances published, was originally looking at what they called ‘ion channels, which are pores in your cell membranes that act as a gate to molecules. 

When these ‘ion channels’ pick up certain signals such as a change in temperature or a chemical message. Their reaction is they either clamp closed or open wide. The later reaction allows them to come flooding into the cells, resulting in electric pulses that travel to other cells, giving the body the ability to communicate information. 

Around 15 years ago or so, these researchers found that TRPC5, one of the ion channels, was extremely sensitive to cold. However, it wasn’t clear this ion channels was used. 

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