While it’s been a mild winter so far in West Michigan, we all know more snow is coming which comes with freezing temperatures. Snow can be fun – it brings sledding, snowballs, hot chocolate and snowmen – but all of that outdoor activity in the freezing cold can be hard on your skin, lips, and believe it or not, even your teeth!
Why do my teeth hurt in the cold?
Just like any other part of the body, teeth are full of nerves and are porous and sensitive. As we breathe in cold air through our mouths, sometimes it gets cold enough where teeth will contract, exposing sensitive tissues to the freezing elements. Once you close your mouth, your teeth will warm back up and expand over those tissues again. But this constant expanding and contracting can do some damage to those pearly whites. Over time, it can lead to hairline cracks in your teeth that can pose much larger problems, but in the short term, it often leads to tooth pain when you’re outside, and increased tooth sensitivity throughout the season.
How can I combat winter tooth pain?
The first thing you should do is to try and breathe through your nose as much as possible when you’re out in the cold weather. This will keep your teeth much warmer, and will lessen the amount of times your teeth expand and contract. You might also consider wearing a scarf of neck gaiter up around your nose and mouth to keep those areas a little warmer while you’re outside.
Have a hot beverage ready while you’re outdoors. ‘Tis the season for hot chocolate, so you may as well bring it out with you! If that doesn’t work for you, even warm water can keep your teeth nice and toasty and avoid the cold weather aches.
Take some dental precautions. Consider using a fluoride mouthwash two to three times a week and think about switching to desensitizing toothpaste. The mouthwash can help seal your teeth so you don’t experience those pains as much, and the toothpaste will block the sensations that come with your tooth sensitivity.
Remember that if your tooth pains are continuous and last for more than three days, it’s probably a good idea to talk to your dentist. You may have some underlying problems that are much more urgent than tooth sensitivity.
If you have any questions regarding winter tooth pain or other dental topics, feel free to call Mogren Dental at (231) 737-5500, or schedule your appointment online today!