Winter season is just around the corner. How exciting! That means cold weather (at least by South Texas standards), holidays, and plenty of family time. But, unfortunately, that drop in temperature can really put a hurting on our…teeth.

Yes, that’s right.

While we don’t exactly experience the same types of temperatures as our neighbors to the north, those cold spells that do happen to break through can cause some serious tooth pain – especially if we are dealing with other oral health issues.

The experienced team at Heroes Dental would like to provide you with some information on why winter brings Santa and tooth pain, as well as a few tips on what to do to protect yourself.

Why Cold Weather Can Cause Tooth Pain

While our teeth may be hard, they are also porous and sensitive to extreme hot or cold temperatures. In fact, teeth can expand and contract as a result of heat and cold. Over time, this can create stress fractures that can lead to bigger problems, including exposing the dentin in your teeth. This layer is covered in nerve fibers and is sensitive to outside forces.

Unfortunately, if you are suffering from certain oral health issues, this sensitivity can make tooth pain even worse. Some of the conditions that can lead to cold weather causing excessive tooth pain include:

  • Cracked or Broken Fillings – Over time, fillings can crack or break, giving bacteria the opportunity to penetrate these spaces and cause more tooth decay. If the tooth becomes severely damaged, then it can become infected and painful. Breathing in cold air can irritate these damaged teeth and make the pain even more intense.
  • Receding Gums – You might not realize it, but your gum tissue actually protects the roots of your teeth. When we fail to adequately take care of our gums, they can begin to recede and expose sensitive areas of our teeth. If your gums have receded dramatically, then cold air can aggravate your roots – leading to tooth pain.
  • Cracked or Broken Teeth – Similiar to cracked fillings, a cracked tooth can expose sensitive areas of your teeth to bacteria and painful sensitivity.
  • Using Tooth Whitening Agents – Tooth whitening agents can start wearing down your enamel and making your teeth hurt. If you have started a tooth-whitening routine, consult with your dentist about any pain that may be occurring as result – you just may need to stop.
  • Allergy Issues – While not an actual oral health issue, sinus and allergy issues can lead to nasal infections. These infections can lead to swelling and pain within the nasal cavity, which you may accidentally perceive as tooth pain.

Tips for Avoiding Tooth Pain

While tooth pain caused by cold weather may be indicative of a bigger oral health issue, there are still a number of actions that you can take to help limit or negate any pain that may arise, including:

  • Avoid clenching your jaw while trying to stay warm in cold weather. This can cause extra tension in the jaw and tooth erosion that can result in tooth pain.
  • To avoid tooth pain caused by breathing in cold air, breathe through your nose as much as possible whenever you are outside. This should help to limit how much your teeth are exposed to the elements.
  • On really cold days, consider wearing a scarf around your nose and mouth to keep those areas warmer and cold air from penetrating through.
  • Make sure to always practice good oral hygiene. You can even purchase toothpaste designed specifically to help reduce tooth sensitivity within a reasonably short time frame.
  • Consider rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash once or twice a day.
  • Daily flossing will help to stimulate your gums and prevent them from receding, which can lead to tooth sensitivity as well.
  • Avoid eating extremely hot or cold foods if you are suffering from tooth sensitivity. You’ll want to talk to your dentist to find out what the underlying cause is.
  • Get your dental fillings replaced if they have been affected by decay or breakage.
  • If you have attempted to remedy the situation but your tooth pain continues on for longer than three days, it is important to visit your dentist as this may be a sign of a bigger issue with your teeth.

    Cold weather causing you tooth pain? Contact Heroes Dental to make this holiday season pain free.

    Our treatment options range from routine dental care to cosmetic dentistry services for heroes of any age. Check out our dental services and schedule an appointment at any one of our Rio Grande Valley or Laredo offices.

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