Ever take the first sip of a hot or cold beverage and get a weird sensation from your teeth? When the gums recede or tooth enamel wears down, your teeth become more sensitive to temperature changes. This doesn’t just happen with hot or cold drinks, but with cold winter weather as well. To help you better understand how cold weather relates to your teeth, we’ll explain what causes common aches and how to fix them.
At League City Elite Dentistry, we often get questions about toothaches in the winter season. Just like water, metal or wood, your teeth expand and contract in response to extreme heat or cold. When this happens, cracks can form inside of your teeth, causing similar pains like those of cavities, gum disease and other oral problems.
It is important to note that no matter how well your oral hygiene is, if you live in an area known for drastic temperature changes, you’re at greater risk for oral sensitivity. To decrease sensitivity, we strongly recommend learning its common causes and how to remedy them at the first sign of pain.
Common Causes for for Seasonally Sensitive Teeth
Dentin, often referred to as the core of your teeth, is the layer below the enamel covered in nerve fibers. It is protected by the enamel covering the top and the gums at the bottom. When the enamel is worn down or the gums recede, seasonal tooth sensitivity can occur due to the following reasons:
- Periodontal disease: Diseases of the gums can expose the dentin and cause sensitivity. Gingivitis is one of the earliest stages of periodontal disease.
- Brushing too hard: While brushing harder may seem like an effective way to clean your teeth, in reality, it’s not. Brushing with too much force can start to wear down your enamel, making them vulnerable to sensitivity.
- Clenching and grinding: Clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep can wear down tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity.
- Tooth decay: Sensitivity to cold is an early sign of an undetected tooth decay problem. If you start to experience tooth pain, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Farnaghi.
- Tooth whitening agents: While tooth whitening agents may seem like a great way to brighten your smile, be cautious. The same ingredients used to make your teeth whiter can go beyond surface stains and start wearing down your enamel. If the agent starts hurting your teeth, stop the treatment and consult with Dr. Farnaghi.
- Acidic beverages: Sodas, coffee, tea, and other drinks with a high concentration of acid, such as juices, can erode your teeth and expose the dentin layer.
- Other lifestyle habits: Bad oral health habits, like smoking or not brushing or flossing properly, can cause gum recession and lead to temperature-sensitive teeth.
How to Treat Sensitive Teeth
If you suffer from seasonal tooth sensitivity, we recommend the following tips:
- A fluoride application: When applied by a dentist, fluoride can strengthen the enamel and prevent sensitivity caused by exposed dentin.
- Covering root surfaces: Dr. Farnaghi can apply a sealant to fight against receding gums.
- Custom mouthguard: The staff at League City can create a mouthguard fit for your teeth to prevent damage caused by grinding and clenching while you sleep. It can also treat jaw pain as well.
- Root canal treatment: Typically recommended by dentists to correct issues with deep decay, cracked or chipped teeth, root canal procedures remove the soft pulp inside the damaged tooth.
No matter if you are just noticing symptoms of tooth sensitivity or have always had this issue when the cold weather hits, the best thing to do is to contact us. Our experienced staff can recommend the best course of action so that you can not only be relieved of your pain, but learn how to keep it at bay.