Winter Weather Woes: How the Cold Can Worsen Your Dental Issues

Categories: Miscellaneous

Woman feeling coldWhen you eat something cold, like ice cream, do you experience sudden and sharp tooth pain? If so, you may be suffering from hypersensitivity. When your enamel—the hard, outer layer of your teeth—wears down over time, your dental nerves can become exposed to extreme temperatures which lead to sensitivity and discomfort.

But what you eat isn’t the only factor that affects your dental health. The weather, more specifically the cold, can worsen your dental issues.

Cold Weather and Teeth Sensitivity

Things such as metal and water expand and contract depending on the temperature they’re subjected to. The same thing happens with your teeth. Over time, expanding and contracting restorations can lead to tiny cracks. In turn, cracked teeth expose the core known as dentin. Unfortunately, this part of your teeth is covered in microscopic nerve fibers. These overly-sensitive nerves are vulnerable to hurting or stinging in pain, especially in cold weather.

To stop your teeth from being too sensitive in the cold, you must first identify what oral health problem you may have. People often wear down the enamel of their teeth and suffer from sensitivity because of at least one of the following reasons:

  • Vigorous brushing of the teeth – Contrary to popular belief, forcible toothbrushing will not remove surface stains or clean your teeth better. Instead, the extreme force you exert in brushing your teeth can wear your enamel down, leading to sensitivity.
  • Teeth grinding and/or clenching – Bruxism or the tendency of a person to clench or grind their teeth when awake or asleep can lead to damaged teeth.
  • Periodontal disease – Periodontal or gum diseases, such as gingivitis and chronic periodontitis, expose your tooth’s root surface and cause sensitivity.
  • Tooth decay – Consuming sticky and sugary foods and beverages leads to tooth decay. The sugar particles in sweet foods combine with the plaque in your teeth to weaken the enamel, leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay.
  • Acidic diet – Food and drinks with high concentrations of acid, such as soda and coffee, eat away at your enamel, exposing the dentin layer. As the enamel erodes, you become prone not just to sensitivity, but cavities as well.
  • Teeth-whitening agents – Teeth discoloration isn’t attractive and can hinder your willingness to smile. If you’re thinking of having your teeth whitened, though, you must be careful. Some teeth-whitening products and agents may strip past the surface stains and start wearing your enamel down.
  • Lifestyle habits – What you do and do not put into your mouth also impacts your oral health. For example, smoking tobacco or not flossing can cause your gums to recede. When this happens, the part of the tooth’s root surface that’s usually covered by your gums becomes exposed, leading to cold-sensitive teeth.

Visit Your Trusted Dentist

Your teeth’s sensitivity to cold weather isn’t something to be taken lightly. When you experience tooth sensitivity, you should see a dentist right away. As your trusted endodontist in Colorado, Creekside Endodontics, LLC offers different dental health services including root canal and cracked teeth procedures.

Call Creekside Endodontics, LLC today at 303-524-9343 to schedule an appointment.