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Winter Weather and Tooth Sensitivity

Winter Weather and Tooth Sensitivity
Posted on 11/10/2023

Are sharp winter winds starting to set your teeth on edge? We've all had those moments when something hot or cold can create unexpected twinges in your teeth. Maybe sweets or something as simple as breathing cold air has become a painful experience for you. Sensitivity can affect anyone.

While most people experience tooth sensitivity as a mild problem, others may deal with serious pain whenever their teeth are exposed to temperature change. Sensitivity can be an indicator of a cavity or other issues requiring dental attention. Sometimes, however, tooth sensitivity arises from a dental problem such as weakening or eroding tooth enamel, which means treatment may involve strengthening the teeth and enamel.

Here are a few tips to help return sensitive teeth to more normal levels:

Oral Hygiene: First of all, strong oral hygiene is critical to alleviating sensitive teeth. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily to preserve enamel and stave off gum recession.

Change Your Toothbrush & Toothpaste: You also want to make sure you’re not using products that exacerbate the problem. Make sure you’re using a soft-bristle brush, so as to avoid further irritating your teeth. Toothpaste containing Potassium Nitrate can soothe mild root sensitivity. Don’t use whitening toothpastes, as these can be harder on your teeth.

Watch Your Diet: In addition to brushing and flossing, make sure to watch what you eat. Sugary, acidic foods can erode tooth enamel and interact with bacteria to produce even more tooth-eroding acids. Focus on maintaining a healthy and tooth-friendly diet full of foods like fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.

Check for Grinding: Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is bruxism, a condition where you unconsciously grind your teeth when you sleep at night. Grinding can damage tooth enamel and contribute to sensitivity. If you think this might be a factor, talk with your family dentist about it.

Professional Desensitizers: Your family dentist can apply professional desensitizers to sensitive exposed roots. One application typically lasts 6-12 months and can be easily touched up during cleaning visits.

Visit Your Dentist: Make sure to visit your dentist if tooth sensitivity persists. Sensitivity may be a passing inconvenience or it could be a sign of a deeper problem. Only a board-certified dentist can determine what’s causing your sensitivity. If your tooth sensitivity doesn’t get better with strong oral hygiene, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheila Shah at Macon Smiles.

Following the tips above to help return your smile to more normal levels of sensitivity may not fully "cure" the issue, but they can certainly aid in alleviating some of the pain. Don't suffer needlessly. Take steps in this new year to improve your oral health. Partner with your dentist at MaconSmiles to reduce sensitivity, and enjoy 2024 more pain-free.

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