One of the biggest dental complaints in the winter is sensitive teeth. This happens for many reasons, but the cold air is the biggest culprit. Understanding why this happens and some of the reasons behind your sensitivity can help you to prepare for the colder months and prevent sensitivity issues from occurring.
A tooth’s structure is one of the reasons why cold air affects it so much. It is porous, meaning that it has holes in it where the cold air and get through and to the root or nerve. When the cold air hits the nerve, it causes pain. Your mouth is also used to your typical warm body temperature, so cold air is a shock, and a nerve reacts by causing pain.
During the winter, you are exposed to more temperature extremes than usual. This can be caused by breathing in cold air instead of the warmer arm your mouth is used to. In addition, when it is cold out, people tend to drink more hot beverages, which is another extreme temperature change your mouth isn’t used to. These types of exposure add up to sensitivity because they cause the tooth to expand and contract, which can create small cracks. These cracks expose the root, which as mentioned, is quite sensitive.
A natural reaction to being cold is clenching the jaw and tightening all the body’s muscles. This is just something that people do, often without even knowing it. Clenching your jaw too much can lead to issues with erosion and pain.
In winter, your oral health can become a major concern. Sensitivity is something that is a common complaint. You can often find ways to avoid triggers that can bring on sensitivity as long as you are aware of what theses triggers are. However, if you have pain a lot, it is something you should see your dentist about.
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