Are your teeth feeling the chill? We wouldn’t be surprised if they were. With temperatures plummeting we’re expecting some people to be experiencing some winter tooth pain. At Defacto we’re asking ourselves, does the winter affect your teeth?
Long story short, yes it does. If you already have sensitive teeth there’s a chance you may notice winter tooth pain a little more. However, the cold weather does have an affect on your teeth.
What causes it?
As tough as our teeth are, they are not immune to high levels of hot or cold temperatures. Teeth are porous and sensitive in nature. However, they should be able to endure the cold with little to no irritation on a regular basis. Our teeth are used to our body temperature, therefore, anything hotter or colder has the potential to irritate.
You may be familiar with the sensation of biting into an ice-lolly and having a uncomfortable, almost cringe-like reaction to the cold. Cold winter air can create a similar sensation. Cold air breathed in through an open mouth can cause teeth to contract. This can allow the air to touch upon exposed sensitive areas especially along the gum line. After teeth have contracted from exposure to cold air, they will expand again once your mouth is closed. Over time, these expansions and contractions can cause hairline cracks in your teeth that you may not even know are there. However, when the cold weather hits and you experience winter tooth pain, you’ll know about them.
The easiest way to avoid winter tooth pain is probably to breathe through your nose. But, if the cold weather seems much harder on your teeth than seems reasonable, there are some underlying problems the cold weather may be exposing. These could include things such as older fillings that don’t fit anymore, crowns or bridges that have eroded over time, cracked teeth, areas of gum recession from over-brushing or periodontal disease, cavities, infected teeth or gums, bite issues and tooth clenching or grinding.
How can you stop it?
Fighting winter tooth pain is as easy as having good oral hygiene. Be sure to go to your dental appointments and stay on top of any issues you may have. You may also want to invest in sensitive toothpaste. The aim of these is to combat and reduce sensitivity over time. Regular use could have your sensitivity levels down dramatically by a few weeks, ideal for fighting winter tooth pain.
We’d also recommend using a soft bristled brush. You don’t need to hard scrub your teeth to make them clean. All you need is a soft-bristled toothbrush, and then brush your teeth very gently for two minutes twice a day. It might feel like it isn’t enough, but you will be doing your teeth a huge favour.
Avoid acidic foods. Fruit juices and fizzy drinks could break down the enamel on your teeth, triggering sensitivity. Rinse twice a day with a fluoride mouthwash. This will develop a protective coating over your teeth, shielding them from the harsh winter weather. Flossing, if you don’t already, is something you should take up. Flossing invigorates the gums and prevents them from receding.
If you find winter tooth pain to be a more chronic issue than it should be, it may be a more serious issue and you should consult your dentist.
Do you experience winter tooth pain? If so, how do you resolve it? We’d love to know!