Being from Michigan, cold weather is part of the charm of living in a state with four dramatic seasons. Although we have the most beautiful winters around, if we may be partial, they can cause some serious pain and discomfort for your pearly whites.
We are going to give you a few examples of how cold weather can cause a problem, and some tips and tricks on what to do about it.
Teeth have multiple layers. The outer layer which is what protects the tooth is called the enamel. Just below the enamel is the next layer of the tooth called dentin. When this second layer is exposed to cold or hot it can cause extreme sensitivity and if you’ve experienced it, you know that it’s a very uncomfortable sensation.
During the winter months breathing in all of that cold air through your mouth can aggravate these tender teeth making your next sledding experience with the kids not such a fun one.
What to do (Cold)
When you’re out in the cold, try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. If you do this your lips, cheeks, and tongue will naturally provide a barrier between your teeth and the frigid air keeping them insulated and warm!
What to do (Hot)
There is nothing quite like a cup of hot chocolate to satisfy your craving after a long day of playing outdoors. If your teeth are sensitivity to hot drinks enjoy your beverage through a straw. This will minimize the contact of the hot drink to your sensitive teeth.
Winter is beautiful but it’s not all fun and games. Colds typically go hand in hand with this season and they can cause you to have a stuffy nose which causes you to breathe more through your mouth. Excessive mouth breathing can lead to a drier mouth than normal. For most of us, saliva is naturally produced and it’s your mouths most powerful defense against decay. It contains different minerals that help neutralize plaque acids. When your mouth is dry for a prolonged period of time you have a higher chance of developing dental decay.
What to do
Drinking water regularly can help keep your mouth wet and decrease your chances of getting decay. Chewing sugar free gum can also help to stimulate saliva and remove food particles after eating. Also, try limiting your caffeine. Caffeine can lead to drying out of your mouth and the rest of your body. If dry mouth is something you experience frequently be sure to discuss this with your dentist.
Lack of Vitamin D
Cold winter temperatures can sometimes keep us cooped up inside. With less time spent outdoors, your exposure to the sun and vitamin D will go down. Vitamin D is so important for the health of your bones and teeth and sunlight exposure enables your body to produce this crucial element.
What to do
The good news is there are plenty of other ways to get your vitamin D intake under control during these blistery months such as eating! A few suggestions are salmon, egg yolks, mushrooms (excluding fortified), certain oatmeal’s, and of course milk and cheese.
Of course if you are having prolonged tooth pain it’s always best to contact your dentist as there could be a more serious problem going on.