Here’s How To Make It Stop!

Picture this: you’re stepping outside on a freezing winter day, bundled in your best cold-weather gear, only to discover that the part of you reeling most from the chill isn’t bundled up at all. If you’ve ever felt an odd twinge of cold inside your mouth, you may have started to wonder, “Can cold weather make your teeth hurt?”

The quick answer is yes, cold weather can certainly make your teeth hurt! This can happen for several reasons.

Just as temperature fluctuations make metal expand and contract, so it happens with your teeth. As we age, this causes tiny cracks in your teeth that expose their soft core, called dentin. This soft interior is more sensitive to the cold, which is why you might cringe as the cold air comes in contact with your mouth.

In addition, with winter temperatures comes the holiday season—which often means more sugary sweets and festive treats. These added sugars in your mouth can lead to a greater risk of cavities, gum disease, and enamel erosion, all of which can lead to more temperature sensitivity. The stress of these holidays can also cause tooth grinding as well, which can damage the enamel on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

There’s an easy fix for this cold sensitivity: make sure you’re breathing through your nose instead of your mouth. This ensures that your closed mouth insulates your teeth.

Why Is Cold Weather Making Your Teeth Hurt?

While breathing through your nose can help, addressing underlying issues is always the safer bet. Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the reasons why your teeth may be more sensitive to cold during the winter—and what you can do.

1. Tooth Sensitivity

General tooth sensitivity is a common issue as we age, and you may have noticed it before when eating foods that are hot or cold. Unfortunately, cold weather and sensitive teeth pain go together as well!

There are a few ways to treat sensitive teeth, allowing you to feel less pain as the weather gets cold. However, all of them boil down to figuring out the cause of your sensitivity and addressing it—which is why it’s a smart move to visit your dentist.

Most often, a dentist will apply a fluoride treatment to your teeth, which can help strengthen the enamel. They may also recommend using a fluoride toothpaste at home.

If your tooth sensitivity is the result of grinding, a mouth guard may help, as well as other remedies like reducing your stress, changing your sleeping position, or doing jaw exercises.

In cases where early remedies aren’t effective, your dentist might recommend a root canal. This can eliminate your sensitivity by treating problems in the soft pulp of your teeth.

Read More: The Truth About Root Canals

2. Defective Crowns

Some tooth sensitivity after a crown placement isn’t uncommon, but if you’ve noticed extreme sensitivity to the cold, it might be a sign of a defective crown. This is especially true if you have pain while biting for more than four weeks after your procedure.

Crowns can cause further tooth problems if the nerves in the pulp of your teeth are exposed. Sensitivity can also increase if the crown isn’t the right size for your tooth, or if the crown interferes with your bite and causes wear over time.

3. Gum Disease

A buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth can cause more than cavities. When this buildup attacks your gums, it can lead to gum disease, which can damage the soft tissue in your mouth. Over time, gum disease can cause your gums to pull back, exposing sensitive areas of your teeth that don’t like the cold.

Your dentist can help fight gum disease during your regular check-ups. They can also do a deep cleaning of your teeth with planing and scaling, techniques that scrape plaque and tartar hidden under your gums.

4. You Have Cavity Or Damaged Fillings

Tooth decay can lead to more cold sensitivity as well. In fact, if you’ve noticed that your teeth are more sensitive to cold weather than normal, it’s often a red flag that a cavity is developing. Because cavities soften and expose the unprotected inner dentin of your teeth, they can ramp up the pain and sensitivity fast.

The same is true of damaged fillings. When a past filling becomes loose or damaged, it can make the exposed area hypersensitive.

Read More: Do My Fillings Need Replacing?

5. Your Enamel Is Damaged

If you tend to brush with a heavy hand, you might be doing more than clearing away bacteria! Wearing down your enamel with hard brushing can leave areas of your teeth unprotected, making them more likely to react to cold temperatures with pain.

Other common causes of enamel damage include eating too many sugary and acidic foods and drinks, which can lead to dental erosion. Eating fruits, veggies, and dairy, on the other hand, can help protect your enamel.

6. You Just Whitened Your Teeth

If you had a recent whitening treatment, it may be to blame for your new cold sensitivity. Peroxide-based whitening products can make your enamel more permeable for a short time, meaning that your soft dentin and nerves feel more exposed. This sensitivity should decrease over time, but contact your dentist if it persists.

7. Your Vitamin D Levels Are Low

One less-known culprit when it comes to teeth problems is a lack of vitamin D. This deficiency can affect the health of both your enamel and gums, making them both more sensitive to cold temperatures. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, consider taking a supplement as needed.

Read More: Tooth Sensitivity And How To Find Relief

Should You See A Dentist?

It’s safe to say that most of us will feel the connection between cold weather and teeth pain as we grow—but that doesn’t mean living with sensitivity is your only option.

If you’re struggling with cold sensitivity during the winter months, you don’t have to do it alone! Reaching out for dental care can help you understand what’s causing your pain and how to stop it. Your dentist can help treat any underlying issues causing your pain while coaching you on simple tactics that might help on your own.

Our team at Highbury Park Dental is here to ensure your comfort during the winter season! To schedule a visit or ask questions, contact us today.