Winter has finally arrived and the holiday season is upon us! While there is so much to look forward to with this cold weather, there are a few oral health concerns that you should be on the lookout for. If any of the following oral health issues crop up this winter season, be sure to take the below steps to keep yourself in good health.
1. You may have dental sensitivity.
Have you ever experienced dental pain when drinking a cold glass of water? This can also occur just from being in the cold air. When the dental enamel of your tooth has worn down, it exposes the dentin layer beneath. This layer has numerous microscopic tubules that provide direct access to the nerve, making your tooth more sensitive to outside stimuli including the cold weather. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep your teeth feeling great during your winter activities. First, avoid eating highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits, as these can wear down the outer layer of your teeth. Also, make sure that you are not brushing your teeth too vigorously in an effort to remove stains—this can do more harm than good! Finally, make sure to schedule your next dental appointment. During a routine check-up, your dentist will be able to identify any underlying issues that could be causing hypersensitivity such as tooth decay or gum disease.
2. Clenching can damage your teeth or restorations.
Whenever you step outside into the cold air, you may notice that your jaw tenses up and your teeth clench in an effort to stay warm. This is a natural reaction to the cold, but it can cause damage to your teeth and dental restorations. In fact, if you’re experiencing dental pain for more than three days after being in the cold, you may want to visit your dentist. Grinding your teeth cause issues with receding gums, cavities, cracked teeth, broken crowns and more. By visiting your dentist, they can help to identify and treat any oral health issues that can be caused by teeth grinding.
3. You can expect more canker sores than usual.
If there’s anything that goes well with the winter season, it’s holiday treats! However, according to the Mayo Clinic, highly acidic beverages like cider and certain foods like chocolate, eggs, and nuts can trigger canker sores. Avoiding or limiting these foods can help to prevent canker sores from occurring. If you’re currently dealing with a canker sore, you can try swishing with a salt water mixture to help facilitate the healing process. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a half-cup of water to create the mouth rinse—this should help to speed up your healing process and allow you to enjoy your holiday snacks again.
At Olympia Fields Dental Associates, we can help to keep your mouth in great shape all winter long. Call our dental office today to schedule your next dental check-up!