Why Does the Cold Hurt My Teeth?

It’s that time of year again…the cold is creeping up on us! As Canadians, wrapping up warm so we don’t feel the chill is exactly what we’re used to, with our harsh North American winters. But for some of us, the onset of cold weather means we’ll be suffering with painful teeth again. Our face is the only part of our body that tends to be exposed to the elements – and if you have sensitive teeth, wow, do you know about that icy wind.

Generally (although not always), the reason behind suffering from painful teeth when it’s cold tends to be age-related. As we age, gums often recede and the roots of teeth can become exposed. Tooth roots are not covered by enamel – and compared to the part of the tooth that is protected by enamel, the nerves are much closer to the surface. Breathe in some icy air – and you’ll wince as the cold hits a nerve.

Stopping Sensitivity

There are several things you can do to prevent sensitivity to the cold, but the most important is to maintain great oral hygiene. Dr. Ray Liu, our practicing dentist at both the River Oaks and Glen Abbey locations, says: “Sensitivity toothpastes help to control teeth sensitivity, but the key thing is plaque control. In the areas where gums have receded away, plaque tends to stick to the roots more than enamel. This plaque, which contains sugar and bacteria, irritates the root causing sensitivity. So when you brush and floss well, you help minimize teeth sensitivity.”

If you have crowded teeth, you will need to be even more diligent – and brushing after each meal can be an additional help.

If aging isn’t the cause, there are plenty of other reasons why you might be experiencing sensitive teeth. Among them are:

  • Gum disease
  • Harsh brushing, or not enough brushing/flossing
  • Using teeth whitening products
  • Acidic food such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits
  • Cavities

As well as maintaining great oral hygiene at home, it’s important to visit the dentist regularly for hygiene appointments, to ensure teeth and gums are healthy and avoid plaque buildup.

If you are experiencing prolonged sensitivity, don’t suffer in silence! Call us at Oakville Dental Offices to make an appointment, so we can help determine the cause and make recommendations or take action to reduce any pain or sensitivity.

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