Why A Cold Winter Could Affect Your Teeth

Why A Cold Winter Could Affect Your Teeth
If the long-range weather forecast is to be believed, the UK could experience its coldest winter in
10 years. While you can prepare for this by wearing extra layers of clothes when you’re outside,
what about your teeth? Did you know that the cold weather can affect them too?
We’ve probably all experienced pain in a sensitive tooth when something too hot or too cold
comes into contact with that part of our mouth but it’s not just diet that can cause discomfort of
this type. Cold weather can also cause tooth pain.
Can cold weather really make my teeth hurt?
Yes, it’s true! Teeth expand and contract in response to extreme heat and cold. Over time this can
lead to tiny cracks in the tooth enamel which expose the dentin beneath. This is essentially the
core of your tooth and is covered by enamel on the visible surface and by your gums at the base.
When the dentin loses its protective layer of enamel, it leaves the inner system of nerves and cells
open to attack from heat, cold, or acidic foods. This causes tooth sensitivity and is similar to the
pain you may have felt from cavities or gum disease. As a result, if you have any problems with
your gums or tooth enamel, such as periodontal disease, it can leave you more vulnerable to tooth
pain from cold weather.
Sensitivity can occur no matter how good your oral hygiene is, but you’re more at risk if your oral
health is poor or your home county has extreme lows and highs of temperature. To minimise any
sensitivity let’s take a look at what causes sensitive teeth and what you can do if you notice tooth
pain in the cold weather.
Reasons for sensitive teeth
People can wear down their tooth enamel or suffer from receding gums for any number of
reasons, including:
•Periodontal disease
– Severe gum disease can expose the dentin and cause tooth
sensitivity. Bleeding when you brush your teeth is a sign of gingivitis, the early stage of gum
•Brushing teeth too hard
– Contrary to popular belief there is no need to brush vigorously to
remove stains on your teeth. In fact, too much force can weaken your enamel and wear it
•Tooth decay
– If your teeth are sensitive to cold then it could be that you have an
undetected problem with tooth decay. If a tooth hurts then visit your dentist as soon as you
•Clenching and grinding –
Some people grind their teeth in their sleep or when they’re
anxious and this can wear away the tooth enamel and cause sensitivity
•Teeth whitening agents
– Who doesn’t want whiter teeth? But if you’ve recently changed
your whitening toothpaste, for instance, and your teeth are starting to hurt, it could be the
ingredients are bypassing the surface stains and beginning to damage your tooth enamel.
Stop the treatment right away and pay your dentist a visit.
•Acidic drinks
– Coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, and fruit juices with a high acid concentration can
also erode your teeth and expose your dentin.
•Other lifestyle habits
– Other lifestyle habits such as smoking or not brushing your teeth or
flossing correctly, can impact your gums and cause them to recede. This exposes the dentin
at the base of the gums and can lead to temperature sensitive teeth.
How can I fix my sensitive teeth?
If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, your dentist may recommend:
•An application of fluoride
– A thin layer of this natural mineral applied to the surface of
sensitive teeth will strengthen the enamel, guarding against sensitivity from exposed
•A sealant
– A fluoride varnish applied to the tooth root surfaces can help fix any problems
associated with receding gums; or your dentist may prescribe a strong toothpaste to
strengthen the root surfaces.
•Root canal treatment
– The purpose of root canal treatment is to remove the dentin inside
a tooth that is badly cracked or decayed and causing pain. It’s an alternative to extraction
and may then be covered with a dental crown to strengthen it.
•A custom mouth guard
– If you clench or grind your teeth at night your dentist can custom
a mouth guard which prevents you from damaging your teeth as you sleep. It also helps
relieve any jaw pain you may be experiencing.
When to visit your dentist
It’s worth making an appointment with your dental practice as soon as you can if you’re starting to
feel tooth pain in the cold weather. Your dentist can determine which of your teeth are sensitive
and recommend the appropriate treatment to resolve your pain.
If you have tooth sensitivity or are overdue a check-up then we’re here to help. Call 44 Dental
today on0116 251 9647 to make an appointment.