As the days get shorter and the temperature colder, we’re all starting to feel a winter chill. But did you know that your teeth can also be affected by the weather? The cold air may stimulate the nerves within your teeth, particularly if you have damaged enamel or receding gums. So what options are available to those who are particularly feeling the cold?
Toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth offers one kind of option: it aims to ‘fill in’ the tiny holes in the enamel which are a leading cause of sensitivity. If you need a more intensive treatment, it is worth consulting your dentist. The range and types of fillings now available mean that it is possible to choose shades that exactly match the colour of our teeth and these can be fitted quickly and painlessly.
Opting for a soft bristle toothbrush may also be a smart idea for this particular season. Harder bristles may irritate the gums so this will ensure that you are gentle when cleaning your teeth. If they are feeling more sensitive, this is a way of combating that.
Finally, it is sensible to stay away from acidic drinks such as soft drinks and alcohol. These acids exacerbate any sensitivity felt and cause the softening of tooth enamel, which makes it more likely to erode over time.
What else should you look out for in winter? Colds can be transmitted easily at this time of year. In amongst the streaming eyes and coughing, it may be worth investing in a mouthspray. These are intended to reduce the virus load. They work by coating the lining of the mucus membrane to create a barrier and use the enzyme trypsin, which stops the virus molecules binding to human cells. Another possibility is opting for a saline nasal spray in order to reduce the symptoms of coughs and colds.
If you are concerned about your teeth this winter, do investigate any concerns with your dentist – they are best placed to advise you and ensure the effect of this cold weather causes minimum discomfort to your teeth.