Teeth sensitivity in cold weather: This is why it happens

Teeth sensitivity in winter is experienced by a lot of people. Here is why it happens, and what you can do about it.

cold weather makes your teeth hurt
© Kamaji Ogino
cold weather makes your teeth hurt

There can be many causes of toothache, which are not directly related to whether you skip this important step when brushing your teeth.

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Sometimes, the reasons can be sinister, as in this case when a man died hours after going to the hospital complaining about toothache. In other cases, it might be the result of how the external environment affects your body.

With the temperatures now falling, many of you might be experiencing toothache or just teeth sensitivity in the cold weather. Here is why it happens, and what it means for your body.

Likely causes of teeth sensitivity

The reason why tooth sensitivity occurs is due to the wearing away or weakening of your teeth's enamel, the protective layer around your teeth. The enamel covers dentin which connects to the nerves and cells inside the tooth. A weakened dentin means that the nerves of the teeth are more exposed to heat and cold.

As per American Dental Association, there can be many reasons for sensitive teeth. Some of these include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root
Toothache in winter could sometimes be a symptom of seasonal illness Julian Hochgesang

As per Sensodyne, cold temperatures in winter can also be a cause for teeth sensitivity, most often, by exacerbating your dental issues.

Teeth sensitivity in winter

Here are some of the ways in which cold weather leads to your teeth hurting.

Your teeth expands and contracts in response to the temperature. Cold weather exposure can thus trigger strong contraction of your teeth, sometimes even leading to cracks, leaving your dentin exposed. This leads to discomfort and pain during the winter months. Having healthy teeth and frequent oral checks can help you avoid this.

Winter is when a lot of people are susceptible to respiratory illness such as sinusitis, which happens due to the over-production of mucus that blocks your sinuses. Some symptoms of sinusitis also include toothache and face tenderness.

Winter also coincides with the holidays. The increased intake of sugar during this time can lead to erosion of your teeth enamel and thereby cause tooth ache.

In order to prevent your teeth hurting whenever the weather drops, keep up your regular dental care routines. Along with that avoid drinking too much sugary or acidic drinks or eating too many sweet foods.

Read more:

Dental hygiene: What are the black triangles between teeth you sometimes get?

This is what the colour of your teeth says about your oral health

A dentist reveals what you should do before going to bed, and it's not brushing your teeth (VIDEO)

Sources used:

American Dental Association/ Mouth Healthy:'Sensitive teeth'

Sensodyne: 'Do Your Teeth Hurt in Cold Weather?'

Cold weather: This is how your body is affected by low temperatures Cold weather: This is how your body is affected by low temperatures