With the cooler temps outside, chances are you've switched on the heat indoors, but if you're still feeling some sensitivity in your teeth when you go out, it can be startling.
"The brisk air outside can make some people's teeth sensitive with the first few breathes, said Dr. Mandy Shearer at Soddy Daisy Smiles. "It is generally a pretty quick sensation, but it can be a little bothersome."
She went to explain that it's caused by the contraction of the teeth from the hot to cold environment.
"The same sensation happens for a lot of people when they drink cold drinks," she added. "It is generally a sign of cracks and root abfractions."
Dr. Robert added that if you've been prone to poor oral habits, you could have significant wearing down of your teeth's enamel or gum recession, which exposes the layer of your teeth that's very sensitive to temperature changes, called dentin.
"Dentin is completely covered in nerve fibers, and if you have trouble with your gums or enamel, you'd be extremely vulnerable to cold weather pain," he said.
Cold sensitivity to winter weather temps can also happen in people who practice good dental health habits too, so it's important to know the common culprits so you can talk to your dentist and get help when needed.
"For example, if you brush too hard, you can wear down your enamel that way," said Dr. Robert. "Clenching and grinding your teeth at night while you sleep can also be a contributor and cause you to notice more pain and sensitivity when you step out into the cold."
Dr. Mandy said that tooth decay can also be to blame. If you find yourself starting to notice cold sensitivity of any kind, it's a good idea to give your dentist a call to and get an exam to see what needs to be done.
"Some tooth-whitening agents can also cause problems," she added. "If you've started a new regimen for one, check the ingredients. It could be they have stripped past surface stains and started wearing your enamel down without you realizing."
It's also a good idea to keep in mind what you're eating and drinking during their cooler months. More hot coffees and teas and other drinks with a high concentration of acid can cause erosion leading to tooth pain and exposed dentin layers.
"Also general bad habits should be looked at and eliminated," Dr. Mandy added. "If you use tobacco products of any kind, or don't brush and floss on a regular basis, it can cause the gums to recede. When that occurs, the dentin layer at the gumline is exposed and can lead to teeth that are much more sensitive to the cold temps outside."
And as always, don't wait to see your dentist, especially if you're noticing the sensitivity to be a recurring problem that's only getting worse and not better.
"By delaying dental treatment, you are risking more extensive and expensive treatment down the road," Dr. Mandy said. "The yearly maximum on dental coverage and insurance usually renews every year, and if you have unused benefits, these will not roll over. When the new year begins, you will need to meet that deductible again and this year's benefit will be lost."
For more information tooth sensitivity or how to get help with your dental insurance and benefits before the end of the year, call Soddy-Daisy Smiles at 423-332-5275 to schedule an appointment or visit soddydaisysmiles.com.
"The brisk air outside can make some people's teeth sensitive with the first few breathes. It is generally a pretty quick sensation, but it can be a little bothersome." Dr. Mandy Shearer.
Learn more by contacting Soddy-Daisy Smiles at 423-332-5275 to schedule an appointment or visit soddydaisysmiles.com.