Winter weather can be hard on your health. Cold or freezing outdoor temperatures can increase your risk of catching certain illnesses, as exposure can weaken your immune system and put you into contact with more people indoors who may already carry bacteria and viruses. Other cold weather-related ailments include dry skin, arthritis flare-ups, and even vitamin D deficiencies due to decreased exposure to sunlight.
But did you know that cold weather can also affect your oral health and comfort? If you’ve ever taken a sip of a hot or cold drink and felt an unpleasant sensation on your teeth or gums, you’ve experienced temperature-related sensitivity. And that sensitivity isn’t limited to just foods and beverages—it can also be caused by extreme weather.
Cold temperatures can affect teeth the same way that cold drinks do. When teeth are exposed to extreme cold, they can expand and contract. If you’ve already lost enamel on your teeth, that expansion and contraction can expose the nerves inside your teeth to the elements, resulting in increased sensitivity and pain.
How Can You Avoid Winter Weather-Related Dental Problems?
As with most dental issues, the best way to avoid problems is to get serious about preventative care. Taking the following steps can keep your teeth healthy and pain-free in all types of weather:
Get regular dental cleanings and checkups—A dentist can clear away stubborn plaque and tartar from your teeth, keeping them healthy. He can also examine your teeth for signs of enamel erosion or symptoms of brushing too hard—both of which can lead to pain and sensitivity.
Avoid extremely hot or cold foods and drinks—Let hot beverages and foods cool before eating them, and avoid using ice in your drinks. Sensitivity and toothaches are easily triggered by extreme temperature changes.
Limit usage of over-the-counter teeth whiteners—There are many products on the market that promise to whiten teeth, including toothpastes, strips, mouthwashes, and even gum. Many of those products work by stripping the outer layer of teeth, increasing the risk of sensitivity.
Schedule Your Clarksville Dental Checkup Today
At 101st Adult Dentistry, we know how painful and uncomfortable sensitivity and toothaches can be—especially when temperatures drop. We’re here to make the winter months pain-free for you by addressing any issues that are causing your dental problems.