Does Winter Cold Make Your Teeth Hurt?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014, 4:36 pm

I know it might sound strange but for some folks, winter cold can cause serious pain to their teeth. This sensitivity to cold isn’t limited to the winter months, many people are sensitive to cold and hot foods and beverages. 

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints from dental patients. The sensitivity occurs because the tooth enamel has worn away and the dentin (the layer of tissue found below the hard enamel) has been exposed. The dentin is filled with tiny tubes that, when exposed, cause nerve irritation and pain.

Preventing Sensitivity

Most of us don’t think about protecting our tooth enamel on a daily basis. Drinking acidic beverages on a regular basis, sodas and sports drinks, can damage tooth enamel. Grinding your teeth (bruxism) can wear away tooth enamel and active gum disease causes the gums to recede which exposes sensitive tooth surfaces. Medical conditions such as bulimia and GERD can also cause stomach acids to damage tooth enamel. Teeth may be sensitive following tooth whitening procedures. Some people who are very diligent about their oral health are surprised to discover that excessive brushing or brushing too hard has caused damage to their enamel.

The key to preventing tooth sensitivity is to treat gum disease or bruxism as soon as it is discovered. Avoid sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks which contain high levels of acids.

Treating Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth feel sensitive for more than 3 days you should contact your dentist. There are toothpastes for sensitive teeth available over the counter and or your dentist may prescribe a special toothpaste for you. Applications of fluoride or sealants may be an option for some patients. Listen closely to your dentists instructions regarding brushing your teeth and avoiding certain foods and beverages. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and brush gently. You know you are brushing too hard if the bristles of your toothbrush begin to splay outward after use.

If winter cold is keeping you from smiling outdoors then contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439. We’re happy to help the most sensitive of smiles!

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