December 2, 2022
There are a lot of preparations that need to be made once temperatures start to drop, and one of them is to understand the ways that cold weather can affect your oral health. It may not seem like a little chill could affect your teeth, but you’d be surprised at the knock-on effects cold weather can have. If you want to know a little bit more, here are three of the most common winter mouth issues and what you can do about them.
Winter air is considerably less humid than usual, which can cause your mouth to dry out. Normally, the saliva in your mouth naturally breaks down food, cleaning up after meals. When the mouth dries up, there’s less saliva in the mouth, which means that food lingers longer in between the teeth. That food spends more time feeding the bacteria in the mouth, increasing the chances of gum disease and tooth decay. If you want to protect your oral health from winter air, staying hydrated is important—carrying a bottle of water with you will do an incredible amount to improve your oral health.
The same winter air that dries out your mouth can also chap your lips. Chapped lips are painful and can start to bleed if left unaddressed. If you haven’t already, pick up some lip balm with SPF protection. That’ll make sure your lips stay soft and smooth regardless of the weather.
While this problem isn’t caused by winter weather, you may notice it more once temperatures start to drop. Your teeth can start to become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures when the top layer of enamel has eroded away, exposing the more sensitive dentin underneath. If you start to feel a sting when you sip hot coffee, you should try toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. While it isn’t possible to build up enamel once it’s gone, this toothpaste can dull some of the nerve endings that cause sensitivity.
You deserve to enjoy the winter months to the fullest. Keep these tips in mind, and your oral health won’t hold you back.
About the Author
Dr. Yana Nemtseva’s favorite part of her job is getting to meet so many members of her local community and change their lives for the better. Her goal as a dentist is to ensure that everyone leaves her office happier, healthier, and more informed than they were when they walked in. Dr. Yana received her doctorate at the New York University College of Dentistry. If you have any questions about protecting your oral health when temperatures drop, she can be reached at her website or by phone at (732) 972-6400.
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