Winter Cold Causing You Tooth Sensitivity?

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Winter Cold Causing You Tooth Sensitivity?

Does a blast of winter cold air cause you any tooth sensitivity or teeth-related pain? If so, it may be time to visit your dentist. When tooth enamel is worn down or gums have receded, tiny tube surfaces are exposed. This can cause tooth sensitivity and pain when your teeth are exposed to cold air or cold foods and liquids. Tooth sensitivity is a strong indicator that treatment is needed. Find out ways to help combat sensitive teeth today!

Tooth Sensitivity

Nobody likes to have problems with their teeth. Problems can intensify during the winter months when the temperature drops. Tooth sensitivity isn’t necessarily a sign of a major problem. However, it could tell you that you have tooth decay forming or that you have an exposed tooth root that is sensitive. Generally, your tooth root lies below your gum line where it is protected from foods and drinks as well as heat and cold. However, plaque buildup over time can cause your gum line to slowly recede little by little. This will expose more of your tooth root. The root of your tooth houses sensitive nerves and blood vessels that will respond to hot or cold and even touch.

You can prevent gum recession by brushing and flossing your teeth often. This will remove plaque buildup that irritates your gums and causes them to recede. Plaque is something that naturally occurs in your mouth when you eat or drink. Sugars in the foods you eat mix with bacteria in your mouth to form plaque, which is a sticky, acidic coating that is left on your teeth. This plaque can also decay your teeth if it’s not brushed away. Severe tooth decay is another reason you may experience tooth sensitivity. When plaque gets inside your tooth (after eroding away the outside enamel), it can decay the sensitive center of your tooth, causing a toothache.

tooth sensitivity

Your Teeth in the Cold

Besides tooth decay and gum recession, we have patients that experience tooth sensitivity for other reasons. Have you ever had sensitive teeth in the winter when the cold hits your teeth? This is actually quite common among patients, as there are many people that feel tooth sensitivity with extreme cold or heat. Many patients report tooth sensitivity during winter, especially when they are outside in the snow and air for a long time. This is normal, but it doesn’t mean you have to let your teeth hurt during the winter. Some tips to help your teeth in the winter cold include:

  • Breathing through your nose. If you breathe through your nose, the air is not coming in contact with your teeth, reducing or eliminating your sensitivity.
  • Drink hot drinks with straws. Cold can cause sensitive teeth, but so can heat. Winter time is a time for hot cocoa and other hot beverages, which can irritate sensitive teeth. Drink your beverages through a straw to reduce sensitivity and tooth pain.
  • Prevent dry mouth. Winter is also a time when dry mouth happens. Colds and flus run rampant (as well as congestion) and people tend to breathe through their mouths. This can dry out your mouth and cause tooth sensitivity. Keep up on your liquid intake to prevent dry mouth.
  • Prevent tooth decay. Heavy consumption of sugary foods and acidic foods can erode your tooth enamel and irritate gums. This will increase your tooth sensitivity. Reduce your intake of these types of foods and drinks and your teeth will thank you.
  • Use fluoride products. Fluoride is a mineral that helps coat your teeth and provides a barrier against sugar and bacteria that causes tooth erosion. It can strengthen your teeth and protect them from sensitivity.
  • Reduce whitening products. With the New Year, people love to make changes. If you are whitening your teeth, this could cause sensitivity. Choose to whiten your teeth in-office to reduce sensitivity that many over-the-counter products give you.


Helping a Toothache at Home

If you have a severe toothache, it could be caused by tooth injury or internal tooth decay. This kind of ache will not go away unless you receive help from a dentist. When you get this kind of toothache, make an appointment to come into our office. In the meantime, clean around your sore tooth meticulously. Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between the teeth. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use aspirin on the aching tooth or on the gum. Some online sources may tell you to do this, which will end up burning your gums on contact. In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area. For temporary pain relief until you can come into the office, take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen.


If you simply get sensitive teeth when drinking hot or cold drinks, you may need to invest in a toothpaste for sensitivity. These toothpastes help coat your teeth to prevent sensitivity. For extremely sensitive teeth, we also have pastes and coatings we can put on your teeth to take care of future pain.


Combat Winter Tooth Problems

You can prevent toothaches and tooth sensitivity from cavities if you are taking proper care of your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss them every day as the American Dental Association recommends. The ADA also recommends visiting the dentist twice a year for your comprehensive examination and dental cleaning. This will prevent tooth decay from forming and causing you problems later on.

We want you to enjoy the snow and the season when it comes to winter. We don’t want you to have to worry about toothaches or tooth sensitivity during that time or any time. If you are starting to feel tooth sensitivity, don’t wait for that sensitivity to intensify or become a full-blown toothache. Come see us at Mountain Aire Dentistry or call (303) 731-7755!

291 E Flatiron Crossing Dr,
Broomfield, CO 80021

(303) 731-7755


When you visit our Broomfield dental office, your smile is our top priority. Our Dentists invite you to experience the difference a warm and caring team can provide for you and your family. Enjoy a unique and comfortable dental experience designed to bring a healthier and happier smile back into your life. We invite you to call or visit our Broomfield dental office and discover the exceptional difference we offer to those we serve.

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