Dental Blog

How to Avoid Tooth Sensitivity During The Cold (and Sweet) Winter Holidays

No one should have to suffer from tooth discomfort this time of year!

We’ve got a long winter ahead… and bundling up is a great way to protect ourselves from the extreme cold. But if we’re going to shield our bodies from these extreme temperatures, why not do the same for our teeth?

Many of us experience tooth sensitivity, or dentinal hypersensitivity, when our teeth come into contact with hot or cold, or when we bite into something sweet. It can be a real pain… but prevention is the key to managing this uncomfortable condition.

First, let’s go over the possible causes of your tooth sensitivity:

  • Enamel erosion caused by foods or drinks high in acid, or by brushing aggressively
  • Gum recession caused by brushing aggressively or as a result of periodontal (gum) disease
  • A bruxism (teeth grinding) habit
  • Decay/cavities
  • Chips or fractures
  • Old, failed fillings
  • Dental treatments like teeth whitening, filling or crown (short-term sensitivity)

Can you determine the cause of your tooth sensitivity?

If you think your discomfort may be due to an old filling that has worn or chipped (seeing your dentist regularly will help to keep on top of this), or due to new decay or injury to your tooth/teeth, then see your dentist as soon as possible. The longer you wait to address a problem, the more extensive the work you may require.

With that said, here are some ways you can prevent tooth sensitivity and reduce discomfort:

Use a toothpaste designed to treat tooth sensitivity.
There are certain toothpaste products on the market that work to desensitize the tooth by blocking the tubules in the dentin layer of the teeth, or by essentially “numbing” the nerves in these tubules.

Reduce your intake of acidic foods and drinks.
By reducing the amount of acid you introduce to your mouth, you’ll be helping to protect your teeth from enamel erosion. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. By using a soft-bristled brush, you’re being gentler on your teeth – meaning there’s a much lower risk for enamel wear or gum recession to occur.

Be gentle when you brush.
Aggressive brushing can also contribute to enamel wear and receding gums, so be sure to brush your teeth without excessive force. And last, but definitely not least…

See your dentist regularly.
Going for regular dental cleanings and check-ups, you’ll be able to better protect your dental health and identify any potential problems early on so that they can be managed or treated effectively.

Your dental health care provider will be able to determine and treat the cause of your tooth sensitivity, and can recommend a desensitizing toothpaste product that may be able to significantly improve your condition. (Our Milton dentist would also be very happy to help)!

Good luck… and stay warm!

How to avoid tooth sensitivity

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