Have you ever stepped outside your house in the dead of winter, felt the cold air on your face, and experienced a tingling sensation in your teeth? This happens more often to people than you might think, and it’s not just some random coincidence! There are actually reasons for why cold weather causes tooth sensitivity.
Your Enamel & Tooth Sensitivity
Enamel is the hard, outer layer on your tooth that protects the softer inner part called dentin. When your enamel is thin or worn down, then more of your tooth’s nerve endings are exposed and your teeth become more sensitive to temperatures. That includes cold temperatures like the air during the winter or a scoop of ice cream, but also hot temperatures like if you’re drinking a fresh cup of coffee.
What Happens During Temperature Changes
As with many other materials, cold causes contraction and heat causes expansion. This can play out on your teeth as well. So, if your teeth are exposed to major temperature changes, that expansion and contraction can result in tiny cracks on your teeth. You don’t necessarily need to worry about a giant fracture suddenly appearing on your tooth, but those little cracks can lead to sensitivity. This discomfort can feel worse for people who have amalgam, or metal, fillings in their teeth since the expansion and contraction of that material can cause additional pressure.
What You Can Do
To avoid dealing with tooth sensitivity in the cold, try to breathe through your nose so that your teeth aren’t exposed to the elements. You may also want to ask your dentist if there are any fluoride treatments or sensitivity toothpastes that may help you.
If you need help managing your teeth sensitivity, contact Trillium Dental in Portland today. We provide a wide range of dental services for the whole family, so we’re confident that we can find a solution based on what’s behind your specific case. We hope to see you soon at our dental practice!