The cold weather may increase pain sensitivity for many people during the winter season. If you have teeth that are sensitive to cold drinks and foods, you may experience discomfort when the outside weather turns chilly.
Fortunately, you can take steps to lower your risk of feeling pain when the cold breeze blows. Follow the three steps listed below to keep the tooth pain away.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR ENAMEL
Your tooth has a protective outer coating called enamel. Part of the enamel’s job is to serve as a barrier between very cold (and hot) substances and the sensitive inner part of your tooth.
In some people, the enamel doesn’t do its job properly. Subsequently, people with this condition will feel discomfort and sensitivity when they drink cold liquids or eat cold foods such as ice cream. They may also feel pain when drinking hot beverages such as hot chocolate or hot tea. Outdoors people with inadequate enamel may feel a gust of cold air rushing over their teeth in a very uncomfortable way.
If your enamel needs a boost of protection against extreme temperatures, use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Your dentist can recommend a reliable brand. Wait 30 minutes or so before going outside and try not to eat or drink anything that will rub away the protective coating left by the toothpaste.
In addition, protect your enamel by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brushing in a gentle, circular motion. This will help in preventing the abrasion of your gums which can cause root exposure and sensitivity.
You can also stop using tooth-bleaching products and whitening toothpastes unless advised otherwise by your dentist. Tooth-whitening products can wear down enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.
Here are some other ways to protect your enamel:
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks
- Have teeth sealed by your dentist
- Don’t chew ice or abrasive foods
- Apply prescribed fluoride or desensitizing treatments
Additionally, if you clench your teeth when awake or asleep, the pressure will wear your teeth down over time. Clenching the teeth can lead to many issues in the jaw and mouth, including increased enamel wearing. Your dentist can fit you for a nightguard to help you stop clenching or grinding.
PAY ATTENTION TO ACUTE PAIN
If you normally don’t have sensitive teeth but suddenly feel a sharp pain when you go outside into a cold environment, the intense pain is normally a sign of tooth decay or a “cavity.” If you have a crack, cavity or other entry point into a tooth, cold air can cause intense pain at the site of the tooth break or cavity. If a filling falls out or the root of a tooth is exposed, cold air can cause extreme pain in the affected tooth.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH WARM WHEN OUTDOORS
One suggestion is to breathe through your nose as much as possible when outdoors. Your cheeks and lips insulate your teeth if your mouth is closed. The air you breathe through your nose will be warmer by the time it reaches your teeth, so uncomfortable reactions to the cold may be prevented.
If you’re sitting down outside or there is a brisk wind, a scarf wrapped around the mouth can warm the air before it contacts the surface of your teeth. You can also cup your hands around your mouth and nose to create warm air in which you can comfortably breath.
Contact Smile Care Dental Center today to schedule your dental exam. We can help when it comes to sensitive teeth!