What it means and how your dentist can help
Winter is here and for a lot of Australians, that means icy winds and thick clothing. But for some people, it also means aching, stinging teeth. If you have teeth that are sensitive to the cold, it can make winter very uncomfortable and even worrying. If you’re bothered by this issue and want to know what it means, here’s your Sydney dentist’s best advice.
Why Are Teeth Cold Sensitive?
Teeth are surprisingly sensitive. Your teeth may react to sweet foods, salt, or even to changes in temperature.
If you experience stinging or sensitive teeth as the temperature drops, here are the two main causes
Expansion and contraction
Like with other materials, teeth expand and contract with temperature changes. This is natural and isn’t a problem on its own. The problem occurs when your teeth aren’t strong enough to withstand these movements and tiny cracks appear throughout your teeth. These cracks don’t usually affect the structure or the function of your teeth, and it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll end up with a broken tooth because of them. But cracks in the enamel do make your teeth more sensitive and may be responsible for your cold sensitivity. If you have amalgam fillings the problem will be even worse as metal expands and contracts more quickly than your teeth.
The enamel on your teeth protects the dentin, the soft inner part. Unfortunately, the enamel on your teeth naturally wears away with time and use. This can expose the nerve-rich dentin, which can be very sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, and just about anything else in the world. So, as the enamel wears, you’ll probably find your teeth becoming more sensitive to the winter winds.
Protecting Your Teeth from the Cold
If you dread the winter months because of cold sensitive teeth, there are a number of things you can do to protect your teeth and lessen your pain. Try some of the following strategies for a more comfortable winter:
Use sensitive toothpaste.
Avoid acidic foods, which will strip more enamel from your teeth.
Avoid whitening treatments, as they can increase sensitivity.
Breathe through your nose when you’re in the cold to protect your teeth.
Visit your dentist for a check up to ensure that you don’t have any cavities that could be causing the sensitivity.
Ask your dentist to do a pulp vitality test to ensure that your teeth are healthy.
If you have sensitive teeth, the first thing you need to do is see your dentist. They can check to make sure that the sensitivity isn’t caused by any oral health issue. They can also provide you with treatment options such as varnishing which will help decrease the sensitivity.
Paramount Dental Sydney Says