Winter is a time of festivities; however, the colder months also bring health issues that might not occur during other times. The winter weather may affect your teeth and you may experience higher or frequent teeth sensitivity during winter. If you’re thinking about what causes sensitive teeth in the winter, this post discusses the reasons you may feel sensitive teeth more in the colder months.
Reasons Behind Sensitive Teeth in Winter
1. Brushing Aggressively
Brushing teeth properly is important to maintain sound oral health. Nevertheless, brushing teeth in an incorrect way can lead to certain dental conditions that include sensitivity. If you use a stiff-bristled brush or brush too aggressively, the outer layer of tooth enamel can wear out.
When tooth enamel thins, the teeth’ inner layers become exposed leading to pain and sensitivity.
The holiday season involves visiting family and friends, and so, you would want to look great. You might use at-home teeth whitening treatments to get a brighter smile for your office Christmas party and family pictures. However, consult a dentist before going for any teeth whitening treatment. It’s better to get your teeth whitened by a dentist or use whitening products recommended by them.
Some teeth whitening products available at drugstores have harsh chemicals which may lead to the weakening of your tooth enamel thereby causing tooth sensitivity.
3. Hot Beverages
Many individuals experiencing tooth sensitivity feel pain when subjected to a specific stimuli type, like extreme temperatures. We usually drink hot beverages more during the winter. Hot beverages can aggravate existing tooth sensitivity.
Moreover, the likelihood of feeling tooth sensitivity is more when you take hot beverages while you’re outside during winter. The higher temperature difference causes irritation to the exposed nerve endings, which causes more intense pain.
4. Seasonal Illness
Seasonal illness is a major reason for sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity doesn’t always stem directly from the tooth enamel’s condition. Sensitivity can also be caused by pain in areas around teeth. For example, sensitivity can be caused by jaw conditions.
In wintertime, you may experience more susceptibility to sinus infections, flu, and colds. These seasonal conditions can contribute to sensitive teeth as they lead to inflammation of the maxillary sinus.
5. Sugary Foods
Sugary foods are often a part of the holiday season. Although the sweet treats encourage the holiday cheer, they heighten the risk of teeth decay also. Even small teeth cavities can cause the nerves in the teeth to be exposed, leading to tooth sensitivity.
While teeth need to be cleaned after taking sugary foods, avoid brushing immediately. Chew sugar-free gum or have a glass of water to eliminate some of the remaining food particles. Wait for at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.
The tooth enamel is the weakest right after eating sugary and acidic foods. Brushing your teeth at this time can cause the same adverse effects as over-whitening or aggressive brushing.
6. Thermal Stress
Individuals who already have sensitive teeth are likely to feel discomfort whenever teeth become cold. However, in some of the coldest parts, the low temperature can itself lead to tooth damage which contributes to tooth sensitivity.
Like most materials, the tooth enamel contracts when afflicted by cold and expands when warm. When teeth are subjected to short durations of extreme warmth or extreme cold, they may experience thermal stress. Thermal stress can leave tiny cracks in the tooth enamel as it contracts, in serious cases. This can expose your teeth’s inner layer and cause sensitivity.
If you’re experiencing cold sensitivity in your teeth, come in for an appointment at our dental office. Des Moines Dental Group has expert dentists specializing in tooth sensitivity treatment. Book an appointment today to get an effective sensitive teeth remedy.