Teeth Sensitivity in the Winter
One of the biggest contributing factors to wintertime is the cold winter air. When your teeth are exposed to a warm drink like hot chocolate or tea, you may experience a twinge of pain from sensitive teeth that are lacking the enamel that prevents such pain.
Teeth sensitivity is more noticeable during the winter because the other seasons don’t have enough severe temperatures to impact your teeth. However, you may experience similar tooth pain and sensitivity when drinking ice cold drinks in the summer.
What Makes Teeth Sensitive?
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 are a major component.
Halloween & Thanksgiving
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 & New Year’s Eve
Christmas is pretty similar, except there tend 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, , 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.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It
Your teeth sensitivity may subside on its own for a while, however, this does not mean you should ignore it. 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.
Tooth decay can cause sensitivity, especially if you have a cavity that needs a filling. 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.
Schedule an Appointment
No one wants to experience tooth pain or sensitivity, especially this time of year. Our dentists in Cascade, Coopersville and Wayland can help you find relief. To schedule an appointment with Robinson Dental call (888) 932-8669.
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