If Your Teeth Hurt Now, It Might Get Worse in the Cold Winter Weather
We’ve all felt it: the drop in temperature as the days shorten, bringing on the coldest time of the year. As winter approaches, there are many things people have on their minds, from preparing for the holidays to making sure their snow blower is ready and gassed up. However, one of the things to check off of your mental (or actual!) checklist is to make sure you visit your dentist, especially if you haven’t kept up with your regular cleanings and check ups.
Large, Cracked or Broken Fillings
Fillings are placed after decay is removed from a tooth. Sometimes this decay is very close to the tooth’s nerve, which can cause sensitivity or pain, or can extend to multiple if not all surfaces of a tooth. Over time, these large fillings can fatigue and even crack or break. Bacteria that is naturally present in our mouths can then cause even more decay around these broken and cracked fillings. Seeing your Dental Health Associates of Madison dentist on a regular basis allows us to check for any signs of fatigue or breaks to help prevent more tooth damage.
If a tooth is damage by decay or fractures, the tooth may die and then become infected and painful. Cold liquids and breathing in cold, winter air can cause this pain to jump from irritating to excruciating. During the winter, temperatures frequently drop to below freezing on a daily basis, making it rather painful to breathe while outdoors with a toothache.
When thinking about oral health, many people think they just need to take care of their teeth. However, the gum tissue is just as important to keep healthy, and is often overlooked during our home care routines. Gum health is directly linked to bone health. If the bone recedes, so does the gum tissue, and then the sensitive root surfaces will be exposed. Taking care of your bone and gums – periodontal care – is very important for the long term health of your teeth, not to mention the discomfort we can feel while breathing in that cold dry Wisconsin air.
General Tooth Sensitivity
There are many reasons your teeth could be experiencing sensitivity to hot, cold or pressure:
- Brushing your teeth and flossing too forcefully can cause the gums to recede.
- Grinding your teeth, either while you are sleeping or during stressful times can also cause recession.
- Some people are sensitive to whitening toothpaste and some are sensitive to certain mouthwashes
- Gum or periodontal disease is present
- Cracked or broken teeth are present
What To Do About the Tooth Pain
It may seem like you are stuck with your tooth sensitivity this winter, but you aren’t. By scheduling your check up with your DHA dentist and hygienist, you will be able to discuss your issues and get a full cleaning and exam along with needed x-rays to diagnose what treatment you need in the near future.
Dental fillings are a great way to replace tooth structure that has been lost due to decay or breakage. Over time, these fillings can become old, cracking, leaking or even falling out. Our teeth also can fatigue over time and not be able to support these fillings anymore. When that happens, your tooth may crack of even break apart.
If this happens, your fillings may need to be replaced, or a crown may be needed to replace the lost tooth structure and restore the proper function of your tooth. Please see your DHA dentist on a regular basis to discuss your individual dental needs!
Talk With Your Dentist About Periodontal Issues
Gum recession is a serious issue. Some patients have such bad recession that only tissue grafting surgery can reverse it. If you have receding gums and tooth sensitivity, it is important to talk to your dental hygienist and doctor to see what types of treatment will be right to treat your gums.
Discuss Your Sensitivity With Our Dental Team
Even if you do not have receding gums or broken teeth, your teeth may experience sensitivity. Talk to your dental hygienist to find out what you can do about this. Sometimes it can be as simple as adding fluoride to your regular cleanings and checkups, or using toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Your dentist will determine if your sensitivity can be turned around by simply using over the counter products such as this, or if you are truly in need of other dental work to ease your pain.
Maximize Your Remaining Dental Insurance Benefits Before It’s Too Late!
Winter can be an enjoyable time, but not when you experience pain every single time you breathe in. The end of the year also brings on the end of your insurance benefits, if you have a standard benefit year of January 1st to December 31st. If you have benefits remaining, don’t hesitate to schedule your appointments early, as many patients want to get in before the year’s end to do the same exact thing. If you are having pain, it is more important than ever to make an appointment with your DHA dentist. We want you smiling and enjoying these cold winter months ahead!