Have you ever noticed that you experience tooth pain or discomfort during chilly weather? If so, you’re not alone. Colder weather can cause a variety of dental complaints, including tooth discomfort and sensitivity.
Here are several factors that may cause your teeth to feel sensitive or uncomfortable during cold weather.
Sudden Temperature Changes
Your teeth consist of several layers. The layer between the pulp and the tooth’s protective enamel is the soft dentin. The tooth’s dentin contracts and expands whenever temperature changes occur. If there is a sudden temperature change, the dentin reacts more quickly than the enamel. This causes stress in the tooth structure, and pain may result. This explains why you may experience discomfort if your teeth have microscopic cracks or fractures. Once the temperature regulates, you should experience some pain relief. If not, it’s time to call your dentist.
Cavities or Periodontal Disease
A sudden change in temperature isn’t the only reason that you may have discomfort in your teeth. The following dental problems may also be to blame:
- Fractured or cracked teeth
- Cavities or tooth decay
- Worn fillings or tooth enamel
- Gum disease
- Exposed tooth root
Even if you recently had a cleaning and dental check-up, if you are experiencing dental pain, visit your dentist for diagnosis and treatment. There’s no need to suffer. Often, a minor problem can be quickly addressed before it becomes a major dental concern. Be sure to tell your dentist when your symptoms bother you the most.
Sinus Pressure or Allergies
Cold weather brings more than just chilly temperatures. Influenza, allergies and sinus infections seem to multiply during this time of year. Sudden barometric pressure changes, temperature fluctuations and weather fronts can cause tooth discomfort that is often misinterpreted as a dental problem. If you have a cold, the flu or allergies, see your physician so that you can be examined and receive the proper treatment. If you have a sinus infection, you may need antibiotic medications to resolve your tooth pain and sensitivity.
If Painful Teeth Persist
If your teeth continue to be sensitive, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist. While special toothpastes for people with sensitive teeth and gums may occasionally alleviate pain, persistent discomfort calls for a dental check-up so you can determine the root cause of your pain. Your dentist can perform a full exam and take x-rays, if necessary.