Effects of Cold Weather on Teeth

With winter here a while longer, recall how your body responds when the cold wind blows over you. Your body tense up and shivers. And when it’s warm again, your body relaxes. The same thing happens with your teeth.

Have you ever felt shooting pain while talking or breathing while outside on a cold day? It’s because our teeth are made up of material that expands and contracts in reaction to different temperatures.

When our teeth contract, it exposes the sensitive areas beneath the gum line and can also affect the seal of our teeth restorations.  

Causes of Tooth Pain during Cold Weather

  • Exposure of tooth structure beneath the gum line. The root area of a tooth is very sensitive to cold air.
  • Hairline cracks – can be caused by clenching or frequent tooth contractions due to cold weather. Some people tend to clench more during cold weather which can cause stress to the teeth and cause these cracks.
  • Untreated tooth decay
  • Old restorations with poor seals

Management

  • Breathe through your nose as much as possible when you are outdoors. Closing your lips prevents cold air from entering your mouth.
  • Consider changing your toothpaste if your teeth feel more sensitive due to the cold weather.
  • Avoid clenching to prevent damaging your teeth.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent the wearing away of tooth structures.
  • Consider using mouthrinses with fluoride to help create a seal over sensitive areas of your teeth.
  • Visit your dentist to diagnose tooth decay and have it treated.

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