1001 Medical Plaza Dr.
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Why Cold Weather Can Increase Dental Sensitivity 

added on: December 1, 2023

Have you noticed increased tooth sensitivity during periods of colder weather? You’re not alone. As your Woodlands dentist knows, it’s not uncommon to have patients reporting tooth sensitivity once the temperatures begin to drop. Despite living in The Woodlands, TX, and experiencing mild winter months, patients can still experience oral discomfort on chilly mornings. While sensitivity may last for a day or two, if it carries on for an extended period — it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor at The Woodlands Dental Group 

What Are the Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity? 

Tooth sensitivity can present differently across patients, depending on what triggers the pain. Patients with receding gums are likely to notice persistent sensitivity from cold and hot sensations.  

  • The buildup of dental plaque 
  • Brushing teeth too forcefully 
  • Consuming sugary drinks and snacks
  • Grinding teeth at nighttime
  • At-home teeth whitening treatments 

A cavity, tooth abscess, or cracked tooth can also cause tooth sensitivity. Your dentist in The Woodlands will be able to take a closer look to discover the root of the issue and determine which course of treatment is right to alleviate the uncomfortable sensitivity. Pain is the body’s way of letting you know something is wrong, so don’t ignore your oral health’s warning signs. 

When cold air hits your teeth, it can cause the enamel to shrink. This shrinkage then exposes the dentin, which is the softer part of the tooth underneath the enamel that contains the nerve endings. Going outside and becoming exposed to the brisk winter air can cause a jolt of discomfort to these nerves, which then results in the complaint of dental sensitivity to cold air.

How to Manage Sensitive Teeth and Cold Weather  

While preventing tooth sensitivity completely may not always be possible, there are ways to manage comfort levels during the winter months. Depending on the culprit of the sensitivity, breathing through your nose, brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste, using a fluoride mouthwash, and wearing a retainer to prevent grinding at night can all be at-home ways for treating cold sensitivity. A soft-bristled toothbrush can also help to reduce any gum irritation and make brushing more comfortable.  

Sipping on a warm beverage can make cold sensitivity more tolerable. While this isn’t a long-term fix, it can be used in a pinch when you can’t see your dental provider right away.  

If your tooth sensitivity has greatly increased lately, it’s important to have an oral exam by your Woodlands dentist. A professional cleaning can help remove built-up plaque. If the sensitivity is due to grinding, excessive whitening strips, or a cavity — the team at Woodlands Dental Group can help get you on the road to a healthier, less sensitive smile. If you’re a resident of The Woodlands, schedule an appointment today.