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Experiencing tooth sensitivity during colder months is a common side effect of winter weather. Your chances of experiencing tooth sensitivity increase when you live in a place where the weather changes dramatically. Minimize your risk of developing tooth sensitivity during the cold winter months by learning about the common contributions and how to avoid potential discomfort.
Teeth Expand and Contract In Hot and Cold Temperatures
You may experience more frequent or intensified tooth sensitivity during the winter months because of the extreme temperature changes your body experiences. Each time you move from indoors to outdoors and vice versa, your teeth expand and contract because of the hot and cold temperatures. If you already experience tooth sensitivity, this discomfort can become magnified because of the extreme temperature changes.
Low Levels of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most vital elements that keep your teeth healthy and strong. With the primary source of vitamin D being the sun, it’s easy to see why tooth sensitivity is more commonly experienced in the winter. Not only do most people spend most of their days indoors during the winter, but there’s also a limited supply of sunlight during these months too.
To increase your vitamin D intake during winter, try adding more foods into your diet that contain the nutrient naturally, such as salmon, canned tuna, mushrooms, shrimp, and egg yolks. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is also a quick and easy way to ensure your body is getting the daily requirement to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
Breathing In Cold Air
Breathing in cold air through the mouth can cause increased sensitivity because of the exposed gum line and the tooth itself. Once you return indoors after being out in the cold temperatures of winter, your teeth will once again expand, as previously mentioned. This continual expansion of cold and warm air can cause hairline cracks in your teeth, making them more sensitive in the wintertime.
Clenching Your Jaw
The holidays are a stressful time of year, and many people may find themselves clenching or grinding their teeth due to this stress. Teeth clenching and grinding can wear down your tooth enamel, leading to your teeth being overly sensitive.
Underlying Dental Issues
Sensitivity to cold is an early sign of an undetected tooth decay issue. If you start to experience tooth pain, it’s always best to schedule an appointment to see your dentist to rule out a cavity or another underlying dental issue. Cold weather can expose damaged fillings, crowns, bridges, cracked teeth, periodontal disease, cavities, infected gums, or gum recession.
Combating Discomfort During The Winter
There are several simple solutions for reducing tooth sensitivity in the winter. Incorporating these changes into your daily routine will help to reduce your chances of experiencing extreme tooth sensitivity.
Breathe Through The Nose
Arguably one of the most useful tips for reducing tooth sensitivity is to breathe through the nose and not through the mouth. By doing so, you will keep your teeth warm and minimize your teeth contracting in the cooler temperatures. If you’re going to be outside for an extended period, wear a warm scarf around your mouth or sip a warm beverage to help keep the temperature elevated in your mouth.
Switch Your Toothpaste
To reduce toothaches triggered by cold air during winter, switch to a desensitizing toothpaste and rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash several times a week to help remineralize soft spots in your tooth enamel.
Talk With Your Dentist About In-Office Treatments
In general, it’s essential that you visit a dentist at least once a year, while most dentists recommend bi-annual cleanings and exams to ensure your teeth are in great shape. Experiencing tooth sensitivity should never last for more than a few days, and anything lasting more than that could be signifying a more significant underlying issue.
If you’re experiencing chronic tooth sensitivity this winter, contact Aubrey Baudean DDS today. We can examine your smile to ensure there are no underlying dental issues and discuss in-office treatment options for reducing your discomfort from sensitive teeth.