How Can the Cold Weather Affect My Oral Health?

How Can the Cold Weather Affect My Oral Health?

by Shearly (SU)

Have you ever experienced pain in your teeth while consuming something hot or cold, or while outside breathing in the crisp Minnesota air?


When tooth enamel wears down, or if your gums start receding, a layer of your teeth called dentin is exposed – and it is very sensitive to temperature changes. Dentin is full of tiny openings that lead to the nerve inside the tooth, so these openings can create sensitivity.


This includes sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures in food, drinks, or the air our teeth are exposed to.


How Cold Weather Makes Your Teeth Hurt

Your teeth expand and contract in response to extreme heat and cold. When our teeth contract in response to intensely cold weather, this can lead to tiny cracks in the teeth. These cracks can expose the sensitive dentin material beneath your enamel.


Dentin is the core of your teeth, while enamel is the hard, protective top coating. When the enamel wears down or the gums recede, it leaves the dentin exposed – so you may feel pain in your teeth.


For example, you may feel pain when you bite into ice cream. This is the same type of tooth pain you feel from cavities, gum disease, and injuries to the teeth or gums.


However, weather can affect anyone’s teeth, even in people who practice excellent oral hygiene. And you’re at greater risk of tooth pain during extremely chilly days in the Minnesota winters.


How to Relieve Your Sensitive Teeth

Schedule a visit with your dentist if you’re beginning to experience tooth sensitivity or pain, especially if the pain is a result of weather changes or from consuming hot and cold foods or drinks.


Your dentist can determine exactly which teeth are more sensitive, and they can recommend an appropriate treatment. They may give you a special treatment right there during your appointment, and they may also prescribe a special toothpaste, rinse, or similar home-care product.


Your dentist may recommend one of these solutions to offer your sensitive teeth some relief:


Fluoride Application


Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens the enamel you still have, and it helps to prevent sensitivity due to exposed dentin. Your dentist may apply this treatment to all of your teeth or only the sensitive ones.


Covering Root Surfaces


If your gums are receding, your dentist may apply a sealant on the exposed part of your teeth. This is essentially the same as a thin filling.


Twin Cities Family Dentistry


If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain during the winter, it may be best for you to get treatment and to help prevent further pain. Dr. Steven Hagerman of Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of Minneapolis/St. Paul can determine whether your underlying dental issues are a result of the cold weather, or whether you have decay or a cracked or chipped tooth.


Keeping regular dental visits can be the key to maintaining good oral health in the winter and all year long. To schedule an appointment or a consultation, call our office today at (651) 646-2392 or request an appointment online. Our team looks forward to serving you and keeping your smile bright in all seasons!