How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Teeth

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young brunette woman standing outside during winter, hands covering mouth

Have you noticed your teeth chattering in the cold weather? Or maybe your teeth simply hurt as soon as you step out in the cold weather or sip on a cold beverage. When the temperature changes, it can actually cause the soft dentin underneath our tooth enamel to contract and expand, and tooth sensitivity occurs when dentin is exposed.

Causes of Sensitivity

While cold weather doesn’t necessarily cause sensitivity, it does highlight any tooth sensitivity that you have because the air is reacting with your exposed dentin or tooth roots. This could have developed due to a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Decay: Tooth decay exposes vulnerable areas of your teeth and can cause discomfort.
  • Gum Disease: If you have gum disease, your gums start to separate from your teeth and leaves parts of your teeth vulnerable.
  • Brushing Too Hard: Brushing your teeth too hard has a similar affect as gum disease, since it can irritate your gums and even expose your sensitive tooth roots.
  • Using Mouthwash with Alcohol: Alcohol is acidic, meaning it can wear down your tooth enamel and expose vulnerable areas of your teeth, making them more sensitive.
  • Trauma, Grinding, or Dental Work: If you’ve chipped or broken a tooth, grind your teeth, or have had a filling, root canal, or crown, you can expect to have some sensitivity.

How to Relieve Tooth Sensitivity

The first step in relieving tooth sensitivity is pinpointing the source of the issue. Decay, gum disease, grinding your teeth, and the other common causes of sensitivity will all warrant a different treatment plan from your dentist. In the meantime, you can breathe through your nose when you’re out in cold air, drink cold liquids through a straw, and swap out your toothpaste for one specifically made for sensitive teeth.

If you’re feeling any tooth sensitivity, stop by Lynn Creek Dental Care for a consultation so we can develop an action plan to help you get back to feeling good as new. Contact us to schedule an appointment today