Do your teeth become incredibly uncomfortable – maybe even painful – when you attach your ice-cream at the wrong angle, or gulp down a hot beverage? You’re definitely not alone. And now that it’s winter – if you have any trips planned that will take you to a colder climate, there’s a chance your teeth might feel extra sensitive.
This is because – as your tooth enamel wears down (a natural process) or your gums recede (also somewhat natural to expect some recession) – a layer of your teeth becomes exposed. A layer that is quite sensitive to temperature changes.
Think of your dental enamel as a puffy, warm winter jacket that requires the sharpest breeze to cut through. However – if you ripped a hole in that jacket, random gusts of cold wind would be felt quickly.
But it’s not just ice cream and hot tea that will cause you to experience these pangs. In addition to sensitivity from loss of enamel, your teeth are also affected by the weather in other ways. Like everything – your teeth contract and expand depending on the temperature. When it’s hot – they expand. When it’s cold – they contract. As this happens, tiny little cracks can form. While they don’t impact the structure of your teeth – it can be uncomfortable (especially if you have metal fillings).
So, what can you do?
If your teeth become extremely uncomfortable in cold weather (or with cold foods) – there’s a few things you can do. First, our dentists in Garden Grove might want to take some xrays to understand the underlying cause of your sensitivity. Is it related to cavities, infection, or a more serious issue? Once we’ve ruled this out – improving your sensitivity to cold (and heat) could be as simple as starting to use a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.
“But I need a remedy FAST – I’m going skiing in Tahoe!”
If you have no time to see the dentist – you can help alleviate the pain by trying to find some sensitive toothpaste, breathing through your nose, or (if you’re skiing) – wearing a buff or neckwarmer over your mouth as a barrier.
Looking for more dental answers and located in the Garden Grove Area? Dentists in our office are standing by to give you the care and assistance you need. Contact us today to learn more about our new patient specials!