With the changing of the seasons often comes the important question of how weather changes and climate can affect our oral health. Weather changes can affect the teeth, mouth, and gums, and not just because we might be eating more baked goods and other treats during the cooler months! While increased sugar consumption can certainly have negative effects on oral health, changing seasons can also trigger seasonal allergies and bring colder temperatures, which can affect how your teeth and mouth might feel.
Changing Seasons and Your Dental Health
As the weather changes, the air can become colder and drier which can cause some individuals to experience increased tooth sensitivity, and in some cases, a sharp aching sensation. This is typically caused by weakened or thin tooth enamel, gum recession, exposed tooth roots, cracked or broken teeth, or a combination of any of these symptoms. While the tissues in the lips, cheeks, and tongue provide insulation from cold air, if you suffer from significant cold air tooth sensitivity, you can do your best to breathe through your nose when outdoors during winter.
Using toothpaste and mouthwash that are meant to reduce tooth sensitivity can also help provide relief. If the sensitivity is increasing or causing you discomfort, talk to your dentist about possible treatments and remedies.
Changes in temperature can also have effects on dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, and bridges that may have become damaged, worn out, or loose. The best way to determine the cause of tooth sensitivity is to visit your dentist.
Seasonal Allergies and Dental Health
Seasonal allergies can also cause changes in oral health. Allergies typically cause irritation and inflammation of the sinuses which results in increased pressure in the sinuses. This can often cause pain that is similar to that of a toothache. For many, allergy medications can relieve these symptoms, but if the pain continues it can be an indication that there may be something else going on, such as an abscess or other dental condition. Seeking prompt treatment for tooth pain can eliminate the pain as well as prevent a possible infection from causing further damage.
What to Do if You Experience any Sudden Symptoms
Whether the cause of sudden tooth pain or sensitivity is related to changing weather or climate or not, it is important to see your dentist when any changes occur. While the problem may arise during seasonal changes, the timing could be coincidental, and assumptions or risks should not be taken when it comes to your health. See your dentist right away to rule out more serious conditions and ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and protected.
How to Avoid Dental Discomfort During Seasonal Changes
Some people are more vulnerable to suffering from tooth pain, sensitivity, or discomfort due to seasonal changes and weather fluctuations. It is possible, however, to prevent or reduce the impact of these symptoms.
Breathe Through your Nose – When you breathe through your nose, the cold air bypasses your teeth, which prevents the cold air from affecting the teeth.
Prioritize Hydration – Drinking enough water each day helps with the proper production of saliva as well as adequate hydration of the body in general. During the colder months, drinking extremely cold and hot beverages can also increase sensitivity to teeth.
Moisturize your Lips – Not only is keeping your body hydrated important, but keeping your skin moist is also essential during the cooler months. Keep a lip balm in your pocket so that you can always keep your lips hydrated. Lips protect the teeth from cold air and can help keep your mouth more comfortable in general.
Avoid Jaw Clenching – One common unconscious reaction to colder temperatures is to clench one’s jaw. Jaw clenching can be extremely damaging to overall oral health and can lead to such things as pain, headaches, and damage to the teeth. Avoiding this is often as simple as dressing warm for the weather and using extra heat as necessary.
Oral Health Hygiene and Care – The best way to prevent pain or discomfort during temperature changes and the colder months is to take proper care of your oral health. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing once per day, and seeing your dentist regularly for routine cleanings and checkups. The healthier your gums and teeth are, the better you will feel on the whole.
If you want to learn more about how seasonal changes can affect your oral health or to book your appointment, contact our team at our Guelph dentist’s office today!