As we prepare to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall, there are going to be some adjustments that we will have to make. With the changing color of the trees, there may be a change in our health, both physical and oral, and we have to be prepared for it.
The colder months, which will be upon us soon, bring along an onslaught of allergies, common colds, sore throats, and flu cases, amongst other issues. Our dental health also takes a step back from being perfectly fine to be a little less fine. Therefore, a focus on maintaining optimal health becomes all the more essential now.
If you have started noticing random issues that weren’t significant during the warmer months, it's time to start making a change. Here is a list of 4 ways cold temperatures affect your teeth and 4 ways you can overcome them.
- Dry Mouth
A dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it's also the perfect breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria. As the saliva production is low, it is unable to transport bacteria and other microbes away from the teeth and gums at the usual rate as it used to. If it continues to persist, it can lead to more severe issues like tooth decay and gum disease.
Remedy: Since the cold air is accompanied by dryness and low levels of humidity, a dry mouth is often inescapable. However, you can ensure that it does not linger. Proper hydration and being consistent about it throughout the day will help. So will moistening your food, avoiding excessive alcohol and tobacco, and using a humidifier.
- Teeth Sensitivity
With cold weather comes sensitivity. When we start going outside, our oral cavity is immediately exposed to cold temperatures, making our teeth more sensitive. This occurs when cold air passes through small cracks in our teeth or a space caused by gum recession. Cold air also causes the teeth and gums to contract, which can be painful too.
The fall in temperatures and the rise in the consumption of hot drinks aggravates the problem further. Imagine coming home from the cold temperatures; a hot cup of coffee would seem heavenly. However, the sudden change in the temperature of your mouth can lead to microscope cracks in your enamel. This can cause increased sensitivity and even tooth pain if not properly managed.
Remedy: The easiest way to overcome sensitivity is to breathe through your nose with your mouth closed as much as possible and use face coverings as protection from the cold air. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks is another solution to the problem. We believe the ideal remedy is getting teeth sealants. The thin plastic coating will not only protect your teeth from sensitivity but also prevent grinding and keep germs out and away.
A weakened immune system is quite common in the colder months. For your oral health, this means that the natural protection of the gums will get affected. As the mouth becomes more exposed to infections caused by more viruses and bacteria in the cold environment, Gingivitis becomes more prevalent during the fall and the winters. It is caused by an overgrowth of dental plaque and improper dental hygiene.
Remedy: Gingivitis treatment can be as easy as getting regular professional dental cleanings on a schedule recommended by your dentist and practicing a good oral care routine at home.
- Bad Breadth
In cold weather, you are more inclined to breathe through your mouth. The frequent resurgence of a stuffy nose adds to that. This results in a lack of saliva, making teeth susceptible to bad breath. Saliva is the natural moisture in our mouth to prevent microorganisms from building colonies. The cold air reduces our natural moisture. Consequently, we are left with microbes that would keep multiplying. And you have the root cause of bad breath, the odor compounds released from said microbes.
Remedy: Bad breath is primarily caused by bacteria buildup on our teeth and gums. Removing plaque from your teeth and gums is the obvious starting point. You can opt for scaling to get your teeth professionally cleaned, and gum disease treatment is how you rectify this problem. Furthermore, using baking soda while brushing will also help, as it makes it difficult for the bacteria to grow by reducing acidity.
The Final Verdict
Keeping your dental health in check is important throughout the year. However, as seasons change, it becomes even more imperative to do so. Your daily habits are a major determinant of your overall oral health. A close second is regular dental exams to ensure that you are indeed healthy and no underlying problems have risen.
Ignoring increased sensitivity, dry mouth, or toothache is something you should never do. Visit the SmileSelect Dental office for regular cleanings and checkups to maintain a healthy mouth all year round. Make your oral health a priority with us.
Call us or make an appointment if you are experiencing symptoms or have any questions.