Protecting Sensitive Teeth in the Winter

Winter can signal the season of tooth pain for many people who suffer from tooth sensitivity. Cold winter air and hot or cold drinks can trigger toothache and discomfort, but there are many things you can do to treat teeth that are sensitive.

Even though some tooth sensitivity can be temporary, it’s best to visit your dentist as soon as you experience any discomfort. Sensitivity is a symptom of decay, but can also be caused by other factors, like an exposed root, irritated gums or worn tooth enamel, which often require less serious treatment. If you’re experiencing frequent or increasing sensitivity, it’s important that you visit your dentist as soon as possible to uncover the cause—you may find the solution is as simple as switching to a different toothpaste, but it’s always better to find out early on if you have a cavity or infection that requires treatment.

Depending on what is causing your sensitivity there are a number of solutions. If it’s due to worn tooth enamel, the following tips will help to reduce teeth sensitivity:

  • Switch toothpastes. If you’re unsure of the cause of your tooth sensitivity, changing up your regular toothpaste for one that’s specifically designed for sensitive teeth can be another great place to start. When tooth enamel erodes, it can cause dentin, the main tissues of your teeth, to become exposed. Toothpastes that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth work by desensitizing this vulnerable dentin, and can help protect and build up remaining enamel.
  • Fluoride treatment. Usually a gel, fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel so that the nerves inside the tooth aren’t so exposed.
  • Use a mouthguard. You could be grinding your teeth at night without ever knowing it—a mouthguard can help create a barrier between your top and bottom teeth to prevent unnecessary friction while you’re sleeping. Grinding can cause fractures in the tooth enamel, exposing the nerves inside the teeth and making them sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and even cold wind.  Consult your dentist to see if using a mouthguard would be right for you.

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