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Why does the winter air hurt your teeth?

Winter is well and truly here. The days are shorter, the weather is definitely colder and we are waking up to frost in the mornings. 

Have you ever experienced dental pain or sensitivity when you breathe in the cold winter air? The level of pain or discomfort can vary from person to person, but the majority of people will experience some sort of sensation when they breathe in ice-cold air – and it doesn’t have to be down to anything worrying. Read on to learn more about dental pain caused by cold air, and how you can reduce your symptoms.

What dental pain can you experience in cold weather?

The level of pain, sensitivity or discomfort experienced in the winter air can vary hugely between person to person. Some people may not experience any pain at all, and some may suffer from extremely painful teeth. The blasts of cold air that our mouths experience during cold weather can shock our teeth. This causes pain similar to when we eat ice cream too quickly – anything from a dull ache to sharp pain. 

What causes pain or sensitivity?

The average internal temperature of the inside of the mouth is 37 degrees centigrade. When a sudden blast of icy air hits the inside of your mouth, it is a shock for your teeth, causing them to contract. If you have amalgam fillings, you will experience more intense pain as the metal contracts more in the cold environment. 

If your dentin is exposed, your teeth will be sensitive to the colder weather as the nerves of your teeth are less protected. Dentin becomes exposed by enamel wearing away over time, or your gums receding. There are many reasons why this could happen. These include:

  • Periodontal Disease
  • Brushing too vigorously
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Illegal or over-the-counter teeth whitening products
  • Acidic foods and beverages
  • Bad oral hygiene 

Should you see a dentist?

If you are concerned about the pain and discomfort that you are suffering throughout the cold weather, we would recommend booking an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to check over the general health of your teeth and spot any more serious problems that may be causing the pain. 

At Oak Mount Dental Practice in Didsbury, our dentists are here to help all of our patients. If you would like to book in an appointment, please call us today on 0161 445 1211.

Posted by Oak Mount Dental Practice

Website last updated: June 2022

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