How the cold weather affects your teeth
The turn of the summer and introduction of autumn has seen quite an obvious change in temperature. The heating has firmly been turned on, and there is a noticeable difference to the breeze in the air.
Did you know that the cold weather can affect your teeth? So not only can it affect how we feel, or our body temperature, but it can also cause irritation or discomfort to our teeth too.
Here’s how, and here’s how to lessen the risk of the affect.
Teeth aren’t immune to extremities
Although our teeth are rather solid, built from enamel, they are not totally immune from extreme temperatures. They are porous and sensitive in nature but should be able to endure the cold with little irritation. However this can at times happen.
Why, I hear you ask then can the cold affect our teeth? Well we become accustomed to the same temperatures from day to day. So when our teeth encounter something considerably hotter or colder while eating and drinking, for example, this is what can cause pain or irritation.
I hate to create this imagery, but you know that feeling when you’re having a check-up at the dentist, and the hygienist runs an instrument along your gum line. They eventually hit the end point sending a shiver down your spine?
Well that same sensitivity can be caused from the colder weather that creates that sharp chill in the outdoor air.
Most people associate sensitive teeth with certain substances like chewy sweets or liquids like ice cold water. Cold air breathed in through an open mouth can cause teeth to contract, allowing the air to touch on the exposed areas, particularly along the gum line.
Relax your jaw
Its natural reaction for us to clench our jaw when experiencing particularly cold weather, tensing seems to happen naturally. However this can cause issues to our teeth and jaw, posing the threat of erosion. So it’s best to try and stay relaxed.
How to avoid pain, irritation & sensitivity
One simple technique to avoid pain caused from exposure to cold air is breathing through your nose as much as possible when outdoors. It’s inevitable that the cold air will cause some discomfort and irritation to your teeth, even if only exposed to cold air for short periods of time.
As soon as you close your mouth, and cover your teeth with your lips, saliva will begin to recirculate which will reduce pain fairly quickly.
Seek professional assistance
If you feel like you’re experience more pain and agitation than seems reasonable, there may be an underlying issue that is being brought to the surface and exposed by the cold weather.
Older fillings not being fully in place anymore, or crowns or bridges having eroded could be the route of the problem. Cracked teeth, disease, cavities, bite issues and clenching your teeth could all cause this discomfort too.
Regularly visiting a dental practice for check-ups and hygiene treatments can lessen the risk of poor oral hygiene that can cause discomfort, especially now autumn/winter is beginning to set in.
Maybe you would benefit from dental implants which can fill certain gaps you may have in your teeth, which can be a huge cause for sensitivity and irritation during the colder months. As well as this, opting for a softer brush can help. By brushing gently you’re less likely to erode any precious enamel.
Flossing is just as important too so that you are regularly stimulating your gums as to ensure they don’t recede, keeping your mouth and teeth generally much healthier.
If you are experiencing any sensitivity or if you feel concerned about your oral health please give us a call today on 0151 65 910 65 and book in for your free consultation today.