As temperatures drop, the cold weather can sting your face and cause your teeth to feel sensitive. Same as other materials, the exposure to cold air, and hot foods, can be rough on your teeth making them expand and contract as they change in temperature.
As the inside and outside of your teeth adjust to colder temperatures, little cracks can surface over time making your teeth vulnerable to pain. If this happens, you should immediately contact a local dentist in the Broussard or Lafayette area, especially if your teeth begin to feel uncomfortable, even if there is no structural damage.
Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, weather sensitivity can still occur. But you are at greater risk if you do not practice good oral hygiene and if you live in an area that has extreme temperature changes. To minimize teeth sensitivity during the cold weather months, it is important to learn the causes.
Why are my teeth sensitive in cold weather?
- Aggressive brushing. Incorrect brushing or brushing too hard can wear down the outer layer of the enamel which helps to protect the teeth. This can lead to oral issues and teeth sensitivity.
- Severe temperatures. Your tooth enamel expands and contracts during the cold weather months putting thermal stress on your teeth. In extreme cases, cracks in the enamel may form exposing the dentin which can cause tooth sensitivity and pain.
- Over whitening your teeth. During the winter months, people will sometimes use home whitening kits to make their teeth brighter during the holiday season, especially for all those kodak moments. Always consult your local dentist prior to using an over-the-counter whitening kit as a precaution.
- Sweet foods. We are all guilty of indulging in desserts and sweet foods during the holiday season. This increases the risk of developing cavities which can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain.
- Seasonal illness. People are more susceptible to colds, flu, and sinus infections during the winter months. These illnesses can contribute to tooth sensitivity because they can inflame the areas around the teeth.
Because the cold weather causes the teeth to expand and contract, your tooth enamel can wear down possibly exposing the inner layer of your teeth known as the dentin. This can also happen if your gums start to recede. The dentin area is full of small openings that lead to the nerve inside the tooth which lies under the protective top coating enamel. When the dentin is exposed, it can cause sensitivity during temperature changes.
Relief for sensitive teeth
- Schedule a dental visit. If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain, schedule a visit with a local dentist in Broussard or Lafayette as soon as possible to get an assessment.
- Fluoride application. Your dentist may apply a fluoride application to all your teeth, or only the sensitive ones, to strengthen the enamel. If the dentin is exposed, this will help to prevent sensitivity.
- Apply a sealant. If your gums are receding, your dentist might apply a sealant on the exposed roots to protect from further damage.
- Use a sensitive designed toothpaste. Your dentist can recommend a toothpaste brand specifically for sensitive teeth which will act as an added protective coating during extreme weather conditions.
If you find that your teeth are extra sensitive this holiday season, contact Guilliot Family Dentistry for treatment to prevent further pain. They can determine if your dental issue is a result of the cold weather or if you have decay or a chipped tooth.
Our commitment to dental health is set to last forever.