The cold weather brings a lot of diseases and infections with it. Often, people associate these illnesses with many body parts like the stomach, lungs, and heart. But they tend to ignore the changes that happen in their mouth during the cold breezy season. It is common to have mild discomfort like sensitive teeth during this season. Besides, other changes also happen in your teeth that can turn severe, if not taken care of. The OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr Dinesh Lakhera, M.D.S (Orthodontist) Principal Specialist, ESI, Dausa, Rajasthan.
The expert sheds light on four common effects that cold weather has on teeth.
Cracks in Teeth Enamel
Having teeth sensitivity during the winter season is very common. When the temperature drops and you breathe in the cold air, the enamel of your teeth expands and contracts. This change happens at different rates. As a result, cracks occur in the enamel, which exposes the layer beneath the enamel. The nerves become irritated and you experience sharp pain and sensitivity.
To avoid this condition, avoid breathing through the mouth. Breathe through your nose, as this will decrease the amount of cold air hitting your teeth.
Avoid drinks that are extremely cold or burning hot. Stick to drinks that are normal or room temperature. This will prevent any sudden temperature change, which is needed for the cracking of the enamel. Besides, if your teeth suffer from constant sensitivity, you can swap your regular toothpaste with one that acts on sensitivity.
Clenching of Teeth
When the bust of cold air hits you, it is common that your body tenses up, leading to the clenching and grinding of your teeth, which is involuntary. Clenching harms in the way that it puts high pressure on the jaw. This not only creates cracks and chips in the teeth to cause pain but also wears down the enamel. This leads to tooth sensitivity and even erosion.
To avoid this condition, make sure you are properly wrapped in warm clothes. If the weather is too cold make efforts not to clench or grind your teeth. In cases when the cold weather is too hard to handle, you can make use of a protective mouth guard.
Dehydration in the Mouth
Winter air lacks moisture. More exposure to it leads to drying up of the mouth. This leads to a decrease in the production of saliva. Saliva is important because it washes away bacteria and leftover food particles. Less saliva production will leave these food particles to stick to the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Keep your mouth hydrated to keep this condition at bay. Drink plenty of water that is at normal temperature. This will wash away germs and bacteria from the mouth, preventing severe conditions.
Weakening of the Immune System
As a seasonal drop in temperature is seen, the body’s immune system also weakens. Oral illnesses like canker sores have become as common as the flu.
Eating a healthy diet is the best way to keep the immune system healthy. In addition to this, quitting smoking and alcohol consumption can aid in preventing tooth damage.
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