Does the Cold Weather Make My Teeth Sensitive?

November 24, 2021 Jeffrey T. Baker, DDS PC

Winter weather doesn’t make your teeth sensitive, but reveals how sensitive they already were. When they are exposed to the frigid winter air or a warm drink like hot chocolate or tea, it’s likely you will feel a sharp sensation of pain or discomfort. 

Other seasons don’t have enough severe temperatures to impact your teeth like winter does. However, you may experience similar tooth pain and sensitivity when drinking ice cold drinks in the summer.
Cold Weather And Your Smile Dentists In Shelby Township Mi

Sensitive Teeth are a Result of…

Teeth sensitivity is the result of enamel erosion. There are lots of ways to erode enamel such as teeth grinding, plaque build up, and even brushing too hard. However, the most common and dangerous threat to your enamel is excessive/prolonged exposure to acidic foods and drinks with a high sugar content.

While this happens year round, it becomes more of a problem towards the end of the year due to the holidays and more social gatherings than other times. In the two months from October 31 to December 31 there are four holidays where food and/or alcohol is a major component.

Holidays

It starts with Halloween and the mass amounts of candy and other sugary goodness consumed then. Kids’ teeth are practically bathed in sugar this time of year, but adults may be more at risk for tooth decay due to increased alcohol intake. Adults tend to bring lots of alcohol and candy to costume parties and scary movie nights. This may be a great time for you, but not your enamel.

Thanksgiving comes one month later, and while turkey and stuffing aren’t exactly enamel enemy number one, all the pies, cookies, brownies, cakes, and whatever other desserts your family and friends make are.

Christmas is pretty similar, except there tends to be more cookies than anything else. A lot of these holiday get-togethers are often focused around a meal, but generally have hors d’oeuvres before and even after the meal. This can be problematic even with foods that aren’t sugary because food particles left on and around your teeth can attract bacteria that grow plaque.

New Year’s Eve is soon after, and while this is less food-focused, it tends to be more alcohol-focused. As previously mentioned, alcohol is not good for your teeth, but people are still going to drink it, especially on holidays. If you want to minimize the damage to your teeth, choose a dry wine or champagne because these tend to have the lowest sugar content.

Do Not Ignore Sensitive Teeth

Even if your sensitivity goes away for a while, it does not mean it’s ok to ignore. You should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. You should never ignore any dental (or other medical) problem because it will happen again and maybe even worse next time.

Most often, teeth sensitivity isn’t the problem, but a symptom of the problem. One of the first signs of gum disease is often teeth sensitivity. Maybe you’re grinding your teeth at night and your teeth feel sensitive during the day due to a lack of enamel and exposure to the cold winter air.

Sensitive teeth might be a sign of serious tooth decay. You may have a cavity that requires a filling, especially if the sensitivity doesn’t subside.You may not even realize that you need one and just feel the sensitivity. This is part of the reason why regular dental visits are so important.

Request an Appointment

Our dentists in Shelby Township, MI can help you with any pain from tooth sensitivity. To schedule an appointment with Smiles by Baker call (586) 992-9222.

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