The cold weather may do more than give you a chill. Tooth sensitivity is connected to winter weather. If you feel pain when you eat or drink something cold, you understand the discomfort. But did you know frigid temperatures can have the same affect? We’re going to explain why it happens and how to prevent tooth sensitivity during the cold months.
Why do my teeth hurt in winter?Exposure to extreme heat or cold can be rough on your teeth. In response to changing temperatures, your teeth expand and contract. Teeth are porous, so cold air causes them to contract. When the temperature rises, your teeth expand. This likely explains why you may feel intense tooth sensitivity when you go from outdoors to indoors. The sudden change in temperature can create small cracks in your teeth.
Tooth sensitivity and gum diseaseWhile anyone is susceptible to oral pain due to winter weather, those with poor oral hygiene are at most risk. When your teeth contract and expand, dentin is exposed. Dentin is located just under enamel and is connected to nerve fibers in the tooth. It’s what causes pain if you have a cavity or gum disease. Any problems you already experience with tooth sensitivity will be amplified during the winter, especially those caused by a lack of oral hygiene. The best way to prevent pain is to understand what causes sensitivity and take action to prevent it.
What causes tooth sensitivity?Extreme pain from sensitivity during the winter months is a sign of an underlying dental problem. Some of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity include:
- Cracked tooth
- Faulty tooth filling
- Faulty dental bridge or crown
- Gum disease
- Retracted or recessed gum line
- Tooth infection
Protect your teeth from the coldSpeak with your dentist about the pain. Dental x-rays may be needed to determine if a larger problem exists. Some simple steps to take to avoid tooth sensitivity include:
- Switching toothpastes to a sensitive -based brand
- Use a fluoride mouthrinse once a day
- Floss regularly to prevent gum recession
- Breathe through your nose when outdoors to prevent cold air from reaching teeth