Why Cold Weather Can Cause Tooth Pain

Cold Weather Tooth Pain

Why Cold Weather Can Cause Tooth Pain

Winters in Minnesota can be very cold, so cold in fact, we can feel it in our teeth! Similar to when you bite into a popsicle or take a sip of some hot chili, our teeth can be sensitive to temperature extremes. Some people have more sensitive teeth than others and are more affected by these temperature extremes, but why is this the case, and what can you do to protect your teeth from becoming overly sensitive?

Weather and Tooth Sensitivity

Similar to how water expands and contracts when exposed to heat or cold temperatures, so do your teeth. Over time, this expansion and contraction can lead to microcracks in the surface of your teeth, which expose a more sensitive layer of your teeth to the elements. This layer below your enamel is called the dentin, and it’s considered the “core” of your teeth. Dentin is covered in nerve fibers, which relay pain sensations when you get a cavity or are exposed to hot or cold temperatures.

Teeth sensitivity to weather can occur to anyone no matter how you care for your teeth, but you’ll reduce your risk if you practice good oral hygiene, and you live in an area with modest temperatures throughout the year. So while Minnesota may not have modest temps year-round, there are other things you can do to help prevent against dentin exposure and tooth sensitivity. Here’s what you should do:

  • Brush Regularly – One of the leading causes of dentin exposure is due to gum diseases like periodontal disease, which can wear down tooth enamel. To prevent these issues, brush your teeth at least twice a day, make a regular habit of flossing, and consider using mouthwashes or other dental rinses to keep your teeth protected night and day.
  • Brush Gently – Many patients don’t realize the harm they can bring upon their teeth by brushing too vigorously. When you brush too hard, you can wear down your tooth enamel. You want to be firm enough to remove food particles and acids that can stick to your teeth, but soft enough that you aren’t harming your teeth when you brush. Remember to also brush at a 45° angle, so the bristles slip gently under the gum line instead of straight at the teeth.
  • Avoid Bruxism – Bruxism is the dental term for teeth grinding, and this can be a conscious or unconscious habit, typically triggered by stress lack of sleep or too much caffeine. If you notice signs of grinding your teeth, or you’ve been told you grind your teeth in your sleep, go to a dentist for treatment, as chronic tooth grinding can lead to cracks in the teeth and worn tooth enamel.
  • Only ADA Approved Whiteners – Some cheaper whitening products may strip past surface teeth stains and start to wear down your tooth enamel. It is important to be very careful when it comes to products that contain lemon juice or charcoal and to only use whitening products approved by the American Dental Association. If your whitening product begins to hurt your teeth, stop using it and talk to your dentist.
  • Avoid Acids and Tobacco – Finally, particular food and lifestyle choices can wear down our enamel or leave us at an increased risk for gum disease. Highly acidic beverages like coffee, sodas, and tea should be consumed in moderation, and avoid smoking if possible.

The good news is, there are treatments available if your teeth have become overly sensitive to weather or temperature changes, so don’t just deal with the discomfort. From fluoride treatments to dental sealants, Dr. Brooks can find a solution for your tooth sensitivity.

For more information, or to talk to our team about an issue you’re having, give us a call today.

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Bloomington Dental Clinic

Smiles For Life
9801 Dupont Ave S #400
Bloominton, MN 55431
Phone: (952) 856-8215
URL: drtimebrooks.com


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