If you can tell the cold weather has arrived by the pain in your teeth, then you may have sensitive teeth. And you’re not the only one. Many individuals have a problem with sensitive teeth. In fact, about 40 million adults may suffer from the issue. When the cold weather comes, those individuals often experience more pain. Find out how the weather can affect your teeth, and what you can do about it.
Why does cold weather cause you pain?
If you have sensitive teeth, then simple things can be painful. For example, hot tea could cause you pain. Or, ice drinks could leave you cringing. The cold weather can have the same effect. When you talk or smile, your front teeth feel the difference in temperature. As a result, you could experience discomfort or pain.
The explanation is simpler than you might imagine. When you breathe extremely cold air, it makes your teeth contract. Then, they expand when they go back to their normal temperature. The quick changes in temperature can make the dentin expand and contract quicker than the enamel (the outer covering) of your teeth. As a result, little cracks develop. These cracks cause sensitive teeth. When you feel pain, the pain is a result of fluid moving in the dentin. As it moves, it irritates exposed nerves.
However, there may be another explanation for your pain. Some individuals clench their jaws in the cold weather. Tensing up could cause you tooth pain, or it could lead to worse problems. When you’re outside in the cold, try to avoid clenching your jaw.
Other Causes of Pain in Cold Weather
You may have sensitive teeth because of your gums receding. Over time, they can shrink further away from your tooth roots and leave them exposed. This exposure can cause discomfort. However, the pain usually only occurs after you expose the roots by brushing or flossing. To treat this type of sensitivity, you may be able to use a desensitizing toothpaste.For more extreme cases, you might need the dentist to apply a fluoride coating.
Another cause of tooth pain in cold weather has nothing at all to do with your teeth. If you have allergies or a sinus infection, it can cause a pain that feels like tooth pain. In the cold weather, many people suffer from allergies and sinus infections. Mistakenly, they believe that their sinus pain is tooth pain.
There are several other reasons that you might experience tooth pain in low temperatures:
- Cracked tooth or teeth
- Defective crown or bridge margins
- Recessed gums
- Defective fillings
- Tooth infection
- Porous teeth
- Large metal fillings
Preventing Sensitive Teeth in the Cold
No one should have to suffer from sensitive teeth in the cold weather. With so much to enjoy about the winter, you shouldn’t let your teeth stop you from having fun. If you want to enjoy the cold without tooth pain, practice a few preventative measures. Following these tips can help you deal with sensitive teeth in the cold temperatures.
1. Breathe through your nose
During the winter, you should be sure to breathe through your nose. Many people breathe through their mouths, but this lets the cold air hit their teeth directly. When you breathe through your nose, the cold air stays away from your teeth. Your lips, tongue, and cheek are enough to keep your teeth warm. Keeping your mouth closed may be enough to keep you pain-free.
2. Practice good oral hygiene
When your teeth are sensitive to the cold, oral hygiene might be the answer to your problem. Be sure to use a fluoride mouthwash. If you use a mouthwash that contains alcohol, you should get rid of it. And consider wearing a bite guard at night to prevent grinding or clenching your teeth.
All of these hygiene tips can keep your teeth stronger. As a result, the temperature changes are less likely to affect them. You can also prevent gum disease, which can keep your gums from receding and exposing the roots of your teeth.
3. See a dentist
If your teeth remain sensitive to the cold for longer than a week, then you should see a dentist. There may be a problem that he can solve for you. In fact, you may have a dental issue that requires immediate assistance. Your dentist can diagnose the problem and fix it before any more damage occurs.
For example, your sensitive teeth could be due to tooth decay. However, you may not be able to see that decay. Your dentist can examine you and find the area of decay. Then, he can repair it before the decay turns into a cavity or infection. In addition to fixing your tooth, he can make your tooth pain disappear.
If you have sensitive teeth in the cold, you don’t need to suffer. Contact your dentist to find out what’s causing your tooth pain.