Winter is now in full swing, and while you’ve probably considered how you will keep your sidewalk shoveled and snow from accumulating on your roof, you may have completely forgotten about another winter weather issue – your oral health! In fact, many people experience teeth sensitivity during the extreme temperature changes that occur in the winter, so it is important that you take steps to keep yourself safe.
Winter weather conditions can cause extreme temperature variations that can damage your teeth. People who spend a lot of time outdoors in very cold weather, such as skiers, runners, construction workers, and roofers are most at risk. Spending too much time outdoors under extreme temperature variations can actually cause cracks in the front teeth that can travel all the way up to the gum line. This happens because the teeth will expand and contract with the cold weather, and crack lines can then result after several years of thermal fatigue.
Hypersensitivity is also a problem during the winter. Many people suffer from tooth sensitivity, and causes can include tooth decay, fractures, gum disease, or worn tooth enamel. When these sensitive teeth are exposed to cold temperatures, the pain can become quite severe.
Fortunately, if you have sensitive teeth that are exposed to extreme conditions, there are steps that you can take to protect them. The easiest thing to do when outdoors is to wear a scarf around your mouth, as this will warm the air that you breathe before it has the opportunity to interact with your teeth. Good dental hygiene, including using desensitizing toothpaste is also important, and your dentist can perform in-office procedures to strengthen your enamel.
In the most severe cases, surgical grafts or root canals may be needed, but the most important thing to do is to contact us to set up an appointment to have your condition evaluated.