18 Jan Sensitive Teeth & The Winter Season
For some winter is the best time of the year as they sit bundled by the fire watching the snow float down from the sky. For others, winter can be a rough reminder of their sensitive teeth. Just as the bitter cold can cause joints to stiffen up, the winter chill combined with other factors can trigger tooth pain. Before that next sip of hot cocoa please read what those factors are and how to combat sensitive teeth this winter season.
Main Causes for Sensitive Teeth in the Winter
Poor Oral Health
Did you know improperly brushing one’s teeth can lead to sensitive teeth? It’s true! When brushing too hard, one can accidently remove gum tissue around the base of the tooth. On the flip side; when not brushing enough, one runs the risk of plaque build-up. The bacteria from this build-up can lead to more serious dental health problems such as gum disease and gum recession.
When one’s gums start to recede to poor oral conditions, tooth sensitivity usually occurs because the reduced gum tissue protecting the roots are now more exposed. These roots are a direct path to the tooth nerve, causing the tooth to be sensitive.
What You Eat
The biggest factor that triggers sensitive teeth is the foods and beverages one consumes. Consuming a foods of various temperatures and acidity levels can have an effect on your tooth’s enamel. A weakened tooth enamel provides little protection, allowing your tooth to be more easily exposed. When the tooth root is more exposed, that next sip of hot cocoa or tea can trigger tooth pain.
Grinding Your Teeth
When one is grinding their teeth, the constant pressure your teeth is enduring can wear down your enamel. Teeth grinding can lead to even more serious dental health concerns such as cracked teeth.
How to Avoid Sensitive Teeth in the Winter
New Brushing Routine
Remember to brush gently with a soft bristle brush for about 2-3 minutes as well as along the gum line to prevent bacteria build-up. Consider switching to a new toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth. Ask your dentist about special fluoride gels to help your gums combat tooth sensitivity.
Limit Acidic Foods
Avoid or limit your consumption of highly acidic foods or drinks that can lead to acid erosion.
- Wine: Whether it’s a red or a white, wine can soften one’s tooth enamel
- Fruit Juice: High on the list of the most acidic juices are lemon, cranberry, orange, and apple.
- Sugar: Though it doesn’t contain high acidic levels by itself, sugar can lead to bacteria inside one’s mouth creating a favorable environment for acid erosion.
Adjust Eating Habits
Instead of eating many snacks throughout the day, save acidic foods for mealtimes. Not only will this limit the number of times one’s teeth is exposed to acidic foods or drinks, other food consumed during meals will help neutralize the acidity levels. Drinking water will help wash out acidic foods and drinks before brushing after the meal.
Prevent Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can be a tough habit to break but there are tips for prevention.
- Limit caffeine consumption
- Avoid Alcohol as alcohol consumption tends to trigger teeth grinding
- Avoid chewing items that aren’t food
- Avoid chewing gum
- Train yourself to relax your jaw muscles
- Avoid clenching your jaw
- Wear a night guard.
When to See a Dentist
Tooth sensitivity is not rare, in fact 1 in 8 people have sensitive teeth. If your teeth is highly sensitive for multiple days ask your dentist to take a deeper look. One may think it’s just sensitive teeth but there could be underlying dental health concerns such as gum disease.
Want to enjoy the winter season and start fighting tooth sensitivity? Concerned that you may have a deeper dental health issue? Dr. Moussa is a leading dentist in Montclair and is ready to help!. Book your appointment now!