As the temperature drops, cold air and icy wind can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. To help relieve dental pain caused by extreme temperatures, learn about the potential causes of your sensitivity and implement the following ten dental care tips.
What Causes Cold Sensitivity?
When your tooth’s hard enamel wears down or gums recede, the layer of tooth below the enamel can become exposed. This dentin layer is covered in nerve fibers which are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Cold sensitivity can also occur due to the contraction of your inner dentin and outer enamel in cold temperatures. Over time, continual contraction and expansion of your teeth can lead to hairline cracks. While these cracks may not affect your tooth structure, they can make your teeth more sensitive to extreme temperatures.
How to Prevent Teeth Pain
If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, consider the following dental care tips to bring relief.
- Brush twice a day with a sensitive toothpaste – Protect your enamel by brushing with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. To prevent abrasion, use gentle strokes and brush in a circular motion with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss regularly to fight tooth decay – Plaque bacteria produce acids that destroy your tooth enamel. Flossing daily can help prevent decay between your teeth.
- Use a mouthwash with fluoride – Fluoride will protect the sensitive areas of your teeth by strengthening your tooth enamel and reducing pain. If your tooth enamel is eroded, your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength fluoride paste and fluoride rinse.
- Avoid whitening treatments – Tooth-whitening products such as whitening strips or gels can increase tooth sensitivity.
- Breathe through your nose when outside – To prevent cold air from hurting your sensitive teeth, cover your mouth and breathe through your nose. This will allow your mouth to naturally insulate your teeth.
- Cut down on acidic beverages – Acidic liquids, such as carbonated drinks, can remove small amounts of tooth enamel over time. Use a straw to limit contact and drink water afterward to balance the acid levels in your mouth.
- Stay hydrated to avoid dry mouth – Drinking water will help your mouth produce more bacteria-fighting saliva, as well as rinse away remaining bacteria on the surface of your teeth.
- Sip on warm beverages when outside – To prevent your inner dentin and outer enamel from naturally contracting in cold temperatures, sip on a warm beverage.
- Increase your vitamin D intake – Vitamin D plays an important role in bone and tooth mineralization. Lack of vitamin D can lead to tooth decay and brittle teeth that easily chip or crack.
- Schedule regular dental visits – Home remedies can alleviate pain, but they may not cure the source of your tooth sensitivity. If your symptoms persist after a few days, make an appointment with your dentist. The pain or sensitivity you experience may be attributed to other oral health issues.
There are many reasons why you might feel sudden pain in your teeth. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, talk with your dentist. He or she will determine if your sensitivity can be resolved using over the counter products, or whether you are in need of dental treatment. To avoid future tooth sensitivity problems, continue to practice good dental hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and scheduling routine dental check-ups.