How to cope with winter tooth pain

Toothache tends to be a common complaint in winter. But is that a coincidence? Why is it more painful to have toothache when it’s cold or is it psychosomatic?

As it turns out, there is a correlation between the temperature and your body’s natural ability to handle pain. Also, the change in atmospheric pressure in winter months can lead to tooth pain. 

There is in fact a condition called winter tooth pain. So find solace in the fact that the pain isn’t just in your head (well, you know what we mean).

Winter tooth pain

When the temperature drops and winter sets in, you may experience what is known as winter tooth pain, says Canyon Gate Dental. Winter tooth pain is a pain that specifically flares up during cold weather. It has three main causes that, with some oral care – both at home and with dental assistance – can help you manage the pain. 

Sensitive teeth

Many people suffer from tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth cannot handle extreme conditions and may pain when biting into things that are too hot or too cold! But eating isn’t the only trigger. 

We always wear warmer clothes in winter. Most people dislike getting cold, so we dress in thick jerseys and jackets, woolly socks and other winter garments from head to toe. But, we don’t cover our faces – more specifically – our teeth. The cold can creep in to the mouth when talking or breathing and hurt the sensitive parts of the tooth’s surface. 

When the enamel of a tooth is worn down, the layer of dentin is exposed. Dentin protects the nerves of the tooth. Exposed dentin leads to exposed nerves. Nerves are there to receive sensations from outside stimuli.

Tooth sensitivity is common and is mostly a treatable issue. You should also make an appointment to see your dentist. Having dental insurance like Affinity Dental will make this process both easy and affordable.  

Your dentist will be able to investigate the cause of your tooth sensitivity and prescribe the proper treatment for you.  

There are many OTC treatments like toothpaste for sensitive teeth and various mouth guards, especially for people who play winter sports.

According to Oral B, many tooth-whitening types of toothpaste are formulated for sensitive teeth. You can in fact use a bit of toothpaste as a topical ointment of sorts and apply it to the spot where the tooth is hurting. Most toothaches are caused by an infection around the tooth. It is between the tooth and the gums causing pressure. 

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth and gums contain potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride. These ingredients have proven to be highly effective in treating sensitivity in most people by blocking the nerves and numbing the tubule holes. Additionally, some electric toothbrushes may feature a sensitive setting that can be used in conjunction with the sensitivity toothpaste of your choice.

Injury or trauma

Another reason that teeth may be more painful in winter is an injury caused to the dentin, such as ordinary wear and tear, and broken, cracked teeth.

This is usually a problem faced by sportsmen, but injury can happen in everyday tasks. People who have been in accidents and injured their teeth, or merely chipped a tooth on some hard candy, experience pain at the site.

High Altitude

As mentioned above, a change in atmospheric pressure can cause winter tooth pain. This is called barodontalgia. People who live at higher altitudes experience this pain, and many people who fly can often attest to pain in the teeth and ears, particularly in the colder months. 

Hikers and divers usually suffer from this.

Avoid hot and cold foods and contact your dentist if you experience tooth pain at higher altitudes. Your dentist will determine the underlying cause, which could be a damaged filling or crown, tooth decay or enamel wear, or a cracked tooth and will recommend the best course of treatment.

Guard your teeth

Toothache is usually avoidable. It’s very important to follow a strict dental health home routine that includes fluoride toothpaste, flossing and a mouth wash with added protection. 

It is best to floss before you brush, explains Wikihow. The floss will then scrape the sides of your teeth clean, making it easier for the fluoride to get in and strengthen the enamel there.

Mouthwash can reach places that your brush and floss cannot. It also rinses the gums and removes any bits that get stuck in all of the nooks and crannies. 

Mouthwash also coats your teeth with some protective fluoride to keep them feeling strong.

Avoid cavities by rinsing your mouth throughout the day. Water will do just fine to neutralise the acids from sugary and acidic food. 

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