As the temperature drops, our body needs more calories to stay warm. Hence, winter is the perfect time to indulge in your favorite foods. But, did you know that dental pain and sensitivity can also become a real problem in this season? Studies suggest that oral and dental problems tend to peak during winters. All thanks to cold and rough winds that take a heavy toll on the exposed parts of our body, including the mouth and teeth.
From windy prick to tooth decay, there can be many reasons for tooth pain in winters. Some of them are easy to combat, while others may need medical attention. By being outdoors for prolonged hours in this weather, you can invite problems like hypersensitivity in your teeth, also known as ‘winter pain’- a condition that results in sharp pangs of pain in teeth and jaw.
Pain and sensitivity can often be an early sign of tooth decay. In such instances, it is advisable to seek medical help. To prevent further deterioration, your dentist might suggest a root canal surgery. After the surgery, the doctor covers the tooth with a protective barrier known as a crown. It is crucial to choose the right crown as it acts as your shield to any future damage. A Stainless steel crown is the most preferred choice as they are durable and easy on your pocket.
Just as your skin and hair require extra attention during winters, a little care of your pearly whites is also essential. With a few measures, you can easily put off many of your dental problems. Here, we are providing a comprehensive guide consisting of 8 oral care tips. These tips can help you in keeping winter sensitivity and tooth pain at bay. Most of these measures are easy to follow and can save you a lot of hassle.
- Use a Fluoride-Based Toothpaste
Sometimes during cold conditions, the outer layer of teeth, called enamel, tends to contract. Due to a sudden contraction, this protective layer of the teeth starts to crack or corrode. The decomposition caused in teeth leads to exposure and pain of internal sensitive nerves. Fluoride treatment can help you in filling these gaps. You can easily find a fluoride-based toothpaste over a medical counter. Brushing your teeth regularly with these kinds of toothpaste can lock the initial abrasion of your teeth. However, if it does not reduce the pain, the erosion may be deeper than the surface level. In such conditions, you should seek immediate medical attention.
2. Check for Common Cold and Flu
A cold accompanied by flu is one of the most common ailments during the winters. If you feel a toothache during this season, it can probably be because of your sinuses. Common cold causes your sinus to jam with mucus. Since the sinus floor sits right above the roof of your upper jaw, this creates extra pressure on your entire mouth and jaw, leading to sore gums and teeth. Pain in this condition is not a dental problem but the pressure on the jaw. Therefore, you should consider taking proper medication to avoid the cramming of your sinuses.
3. Keep the Face and Mouth Covered and Warm
Whenever cold, harsh wind gusts toward us, we often tend to inhale through our mouths. Frequent breathing of cold air can make your teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and pain. There is little you can do about this. A warm layer of cloth is one of the most convenient ways to prevent cold air from reaching your mouth and teeth. Try to cover your face and mouth with a warm scarf before stepping out. Also, to avoid unnecessary friction, it is advisable to be mindful of your breathing from your nostrils.
4. Take Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D
We are very well aware of the importance of Vitamin D in our bone health. But, do you also know that it plays a major role in keeping your teeth healthy? Vitamin D not only helps in building dental tissues but also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Less exposure to sunlight during winters can cause vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to get your vitamin D levels checked, especially during this season, when it is almost impossible to spot the Sun. You can restore the depleted levels of vitamin D through oral supplementation. Your doctor might also advise a water-soluble powder or weekly injections depending on your specific needs.
5. Say No to Acidic and Sugary Foods
It is no brainer that sugar and acid present in your food is a major foe of your teeth health. The acid in sugar-rich food directly attacks the outer protective layer of the teeth and causes it to deplete. This process of depletion of the minerals from the tooth enamel is called demineralization. Demineralization though a slow process, unfortunately, over the period it causes tooth decay, which leads to severe pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing a toothache, it is good to avoid sugar-rich and acidic food altogether. Also, rinsing your mouth thoroughly after every meal removes the food build up on your teeth, minimizing the risk of dental plaque and demineralization.
6. Don’t Forget to Drink Water
During winters, less moisture in the air leads to dry mouth. Dry mouth brings along with it, problems like bad breath, tooth decay, and less production of saliva. Saliva plays a key role in oral hygiene, as it is rich in minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and fluoride, which together help to strengthen teeth enamel. Hence, to avoid dry mouth and to maintain a functional level of saliva, it is essential to keep your mouth hydrated.
Also, another reason why you should deck up on your H2O is that dehydration can lead to cold sores. Cold sores are another oral problem that can make your dental pain all the worse. Together with or individually, both dry mouth and cold sores can aggravate irritation and pain. Hence, one of the best ways to keep these problems in check is a glass of water at least eight times a day. Staying hydrated is one of the cheapest and probably the best way to kick off a dry mouth. Also, you can resort to the age-old remedy of a quick gargle with warm saltwater. Not only will it soothe your cold sores but also help in relaxing your entire mouth muscles.
7. Make Your Oral Hygiene a Priority
The risk of spreading germs and infection is more in winters, as bacteria and germs multiply at a rapid rate during moist conditions. With the first sign of tooth decay, sensitivity, or pain, make sure that you sanitize your toothbrush and other oral health supplies. Also, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months, whether it appears worn out or not. Touching the area inflicted with tooth decay can cause bacteria to transfer to your hands. Therefore, you should wash your hands at regular intervals to avoid the risk of contagion from one tooth to another.
8. Sticking to the Right Brushing Techniques
A fact which is often heard but easily ignored is that the technique with which you brush your teeth has a key role to play in the overall health of your teeth. Bad brushing technique can easily wear down the enamel of your teeth. If you are suffering from tooth pain, you should choose a soft-bristle toothbrush and consider massaging your teeth with soft circular motion. Tiny food particles that get lodged between your teeth is the main cause behind a plaque and dental cavities. So, you can subside a minor toothache by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. If it is difficult for your brush to reach the small spaces between your teeth, you can buy a toothbrush with a smaller head. Also, flossing is a great way to keep the teeth free from plaque and unwanted food particles.
Winter is the time to enjoy several outdoor activities like skiing, skating, and ice sports. Therefore, it is crucial not to let the teeth pain come in your way of having outdoor fun. Maintaining a proper routine can be a task in harsh weather. But remember, without good oral hygiene, it is almost impossible to achieve a perfect smile. Since teeth are more vulnerable around this weather, you should consider getting a regular dental check-up all season around. Along with a consultation with your doctor, you can frame a dental routine to suit your specific needs. Following the tips discussed, along with a little regular care, is the best way to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and shining.