Protect Your Teeth From Our Boston Winter

Woman bundled in winter hat and gloves with a cold look on her face

IT MAY BE THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER YEAR, but we are still in the middle of winter. The achy bones and the cold toes are annoyingly predictable this time of year, but are you also feeling tooth pain?

Winter Chill And Teeth Sensitivity

It is common for your teeth to feel extra sensitive in the winter. Much like other objects that expand and contract when exposed to sudden temperature changes, our teeth can form cracks when quickly exposed to that freezing winter air. These cracks are not visible or particularly dangerous but they can cause sensitivity.

What Else Might It Be?

The cracks in your teeth may not be the only reason your teeth are extra sensitive this time of year. You may already have problems that the cold weather can exacerbate.

Problems may include:


Cavities, also known as dental caries, are a common dental issue characterized by the decay of tooth structure. Winter can exacerbate cavity formation due to changes in dietary habits, such as consuming more sugary foods and drinks during the holiday season. Additionally, dry winter air can lead to decreased saliva production, which normally helps to rinse away food particles and bacteria that contribute to cavity formation. Regular dental check-ups and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, are essential for cavity prevention.

Cracked teeth

Cracked teeth can result from various factors, including trauma, biting on hard objects, or even grinding and clenching teeth, which may be exacerbated during times of stress, such as the busy holiday season. Cracks in teeth can lead to increased sensitivity, especially when exposed to cold temperatures. Seeking prompt dental care is crucial if you suspect a cracked tooth, as it can lead to further damage if left untreated.

Weakened enamel

Enamel, the outer layer of the tooth, can become weakened due to acidic foods and beverages, poor oral hygiene, and enamel erosion caused by conditions like acid reflux or bulimia. Winter weather may contribute to weakened enamel through dietary changes and decreased saliva production. Over time, weakened enamel can increase tooth sensitivity and susceptibility to cavities. Using fluoride toothpaste and consuming a balanced diet can help strengthen enamel and protect against sensitivity.

Gum recession

Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue wears away, exposing the roots of the teeth. Factors such as poor oral hygiene, gum disease, aggressive brushing, and genetic predisposition can contribute to gum recession. Cold weather can worsen gum recession symptoms, such as increased tooth sensitivity, as exposed tooth roots are more susceptible to temperature changes. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices and seeking professional dental care can help manage gum recession and prevent further damage to the gums and teeth.

Clenching and grinding teeth

Clenching and grinding teeth, also known as bruxism, can occur involuntarily during sleep or consciously during periods of stress. Winter can be a stressful time for many people, leading to an increase in teeth-grinding and clenching behaviors. Bruxism can cause tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, headaches, and tooth wear or fracture. Using a custom-made mouthguard, stress management techniques, and addressing underlying factors contributing to stress can help alleviate symptoms of bruxism and protect the teeth from damage.

Coping with Sensitivity Teeth

There are many ways to prevent that immediate chill from shocking your teeth. When stepping outside your house, try covering your mouth with a scarf or breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Also, toothpaste for sensitive teeth can alleviate some of the pain.

If this exaggerated tooth sensitivity drives you crazy, contact us because it could be a sign of a bigger problem. We would love to help you so you can enjoy the beauties of our Boston winter.

Thanks for your trust in our practice. We appreciate you!

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