Living in Canada, you just cannot avoid the cold weather. Did you know that your teeth may hurt when it is cold outside? If you’re sensitive to cold drinks and cold food, you may also experience discomfort in colder temperatures. The dentists at our Ottawa West dental centre, Pearlee Dental, want to give you more information that may be helpful.
This sensitivity can put socializing outdoors at risk. You do not want to be in pain while enjoying a day of cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Skiing and boarding, as well as outdoor sporting events, become less comfortable and fun when you are in pain. A cold breeze may bring discomfort on as well as colder outdoor temperatures.
Why Do Teeth Feel Sensitive?
You may experience the same kind of pain as when consuming cold drinks. What is the reason for the sensitivity? Cold weather can cause fissures in the enamel of your tooth. This enamel is the outer protective layer. Exposed is dentin, which lies under the enamel, and the nerve fibers, giving you a toothache.
As a response to temperature changes, whether hot or cold, your teeth expand and contract. The layer that covers the root may be exposed, another condition that can cause this sensitivity.
The following are some other conditions, in addition to outdoor temperature changes, that may cause sensitivity:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth injury, such as a chipped or broken tooth
- Dental work, such as fillings and crowns
- Gum disease and receding gums
- Infection of the tooth
- Acidic foods
- Harsh dental products
- Overly-strong brushing
- Tobacco products and smoking
- Poor oral hygiene and limited access to oral care
In some cases, the pain will appear when eating or drinking. This will likely be the result of an underlying problem that is chronic. The underlying cause must be corrected for you to find relief from pain or discomfort.
On the other hand, in other cases, such as a tooth injury, pain may come on suddenly when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold.
Sometimes a filling may cause sensitivity
After having a cavity filled, tooth sensitivity can occur. This can happen because of the following: The filling or crown is too deep; removal of the cavity was not complete; or the filling becomes loose due to grinding of the teeth, recessed gums or wear.
If the sensitivity persists, it may be time for a root canal. Only your dentist can find this underlying cause and do a procedure to lessen the pain.
A chipped tooth may be sensitive to cold
Have you recently chipped a tooth? Perhaps your last hockey game was too intense. Whatever the reason, a tooth can break from wear and tear. Although most cases are not significant, some chipped teeth may cause pain; enamel has cracked off, leaving the dentin underneath to be exposed. This will make the tooth sensitive to both heat and cold.
What You Can Do About Teeth That Hurt
There are several things that you can do, in addition to seeing a dentist, that may help with tooth sensitivity. These include over-the-counter solutions, dietary changes, and home remedies.
Change your toothpaste
The first step may be buying a toothpaste that is made for sensitive teeth. The dentist may be able to recommend a brand that is reliable. Brush your teeth and then wait 30 minutes before going outside, as the there will be a protective coating from the toothpaste. Do not eat or drink anything that may rub this coating away.
If poor dental hygiene is the cause of the sensitivity, it may be time to buy a new toothbrush. Opt for soft bristles and brush gently in a motion that is circular. This should be for about 2 minutes, brushing all surfaces of your teeth.
Dietary solutions to take care of enamel
There are other ways to protect the enamel include. One includes the following: Avoiding acidic food and drinks, such as cranberries, citrus, soft drinks, pickles, tomato-based foods, coffee and wine.
You should also avoid chewing on ice and abrasive foods. Using prescribed treatments and brushing and flossing daily may help.
Home remedies are sometimes effective
You may want to treat the sensitivity at home, before a visit to the dentist. People have sometimes tried the following for relief from temperature-caused pain:
- Hydrogen peroxide rinse (with a dilution of warm water)
- Saltwater rinse
- Honey and warm water rinse
- Green tea rinse
- Turmeric rub
- Capsaicin mouthwash or gel
- Vanilla extract
Other methods of easing sensitivity when outdoors
When it’s cold outside, there are several things that you can do to protect your teeth from exposure to the cold. Breathe through your mouth, as cheeks and mouth provide insulation when your mouth is closed.
Wrap a scarf around your mouth when sitting outdoors for a while, warming the air before it reaches your teeth.
Dental Treatment May Be the Answer
The cold of winter need not be a problem. Neither should the fun of eating and drinking be spoiled by a tooth that is sensitive. With the holidays and winter as something to look forward to, you may want resolution for this discomfort.
When tooth sensitivity is frequent or interferes with your daily life, it may be time to see the dentist. They can discover the root cause of the pain, while creating a treatment plan that works for you and alleviates the pain.
Contact us at Pearlee Dental in Ottawa. We are a holistic dentist in Ontario that can help find the cause and offer a solution for your sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. Schedule an appointment and look forward to winter and those special celebration times with friends and family.