Cold weather is uncomfortable in a lot of different ways, but what you might not know is that cold air can actually make your teeth hurt. By better understanding how this phenomenon works, you can take steps to keep your teeth safe.
Temperature Changes and Toothaches
Thermal stress on the tooth structure can lead to pain. Depending on the air that we breathe, our mouths will change temperatures. It is estimated that the front teeth can experience temperature fluxes of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit several times each day.
To understand how thermal stress impacts the tooth, it is important to understand the tooth structure. The tooth consists of several layers, with the dentin sitting between the protective enamel and the inner pulp. The dentin can expand and contract with thermal changes causing pain, and this sensation can be especially prominent during quick changes. This stress caused to the tooth structure can even lead to cracking.
How to Keep Your Teeth Safe in the Cold
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your teeth safe even in the coldest of weather. The most important thing is to maintain proper oral hygiene, and if you continue to experience pain after a rapid change in temperature, consider a change to a desensitizing toothpaste. Make sure that you drink enough water so that your teeth and gums are always moist and adjust your diet so that you are getting all of the important food groups. You might also want to limit the time you spend outdoors, especially when it is very cold. If you’re able to see your own breath, you should take this as a sign that you need to stay inside.
Regardless of the season, it is important to stay up to date with your dental cleaning and appointment. Give us a call today to set up your next cleaning and to discuss your cold weather discomfort.