In a nutshell, yes. The cold weather certainly aggravates certain kinds of tooth pain as would eating an ice cream sandwich or drinking a tall glass of ice water.
This type of tooth pain, which is associated with cavities, is caused by the exposure of a part of the tooth that is very sensitive to extreme temperatures. When tooth enamel wears down or the gums begin to recede due to gum disease, you could feel substantial pain when you drink something hot or cold, eat something hot or cold, or are simply in an environment that is colder.
In this article, we’ll discuss temperature-sensitivity and tooth pain, plus what you can do to manage toothaches and sensitive teeth this winter.
Cold Weather Makes Teeth Hurt
Cold weather not only aggravates already existing cavities and cracks, but it can also cause new ones. This is especially true for individuals who spent a great deal of time working outdoors in cold weather. Just like everything else, temperature changes cause teeth to expand and contract. This contraction can cause micro-fissures in the tooth enamel that later registers as tooth pain.
This is because the fissure in the enamel exposes dentin which makes up the core of a tooth. Dentin is covered in nerve fibers and it is these that hurt when you experience tooth pain.
Generally speaking, the same kind of tooth pain that can appear mysteriously in winter is also the same pain you feel when you have a cavity or your gums have receded enough to begin exposing nerves.
Seasonally Sensitive Teeth
For genetic reasons, some people have teeth that are much more susceptible to temperature changes than others. In other cases, their work may leave them vulnerable to temperature changes. Aside from already-existing tooth decay and cavities, risk factors for experiencing tooth pain in cold weather include:
- Gum disease – Gum disease causes the gums to be slowly eaten way, eventually visibly receding. If the gums expose dentin, pain is likely.
- Brushing too hard – Some people think that power is everything when it comes to brushing and exert forty pounds of force on their tooth enamel. This can actually strip the enamel and leave your dentin exposed.
- Grinding your teeth – Can wear down tooth enamel.
- Acidic beverages – Highly acidic food and beverages wear down tooth enamel.
- Tooth-whitening agents – Some can strip tooth enamel.
In addition to the aforementioned, poor dental hygiene increases the risk that you will experience tooth pain when the weather changes.
Contact Us About Cold Weather Tooth Sensitivity in Sedona, Arizona
Peak Family Dental Care offers top-quality dental services at any of our three Arizona locations, including in Sedona. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, we can provide a fluoride application to strengthen your enamel, cover root surfaces to manage pain caused by receding gums, fabricate a mouth guard for those who grind their teeth, or when all else fails, perform a root canal. Call today to learn more about how we can help!