It’s finally starting to feel like winter outside. Soon we’ll have sledding, snowmen, and hot cocoa. It may be fun and games for most but for some the winter brings more brutal side effects. With the cold and buffeting winds a lot of people experience dried skin, chapped lips, and even tooth pain. Luckily there are ways to combat all of this, and we’re especially good with the tooth pain!

Why Do My Teeth Hurt

Some of us have sensitive teeth. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it can definitely be an annoying one. There are several factors that can contribute to cold weather sensitivity and among the top reasons are:

  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Gum Recession
  • Cavities
  • Weakened Enamel
  • Thin Enamel
  • Cracked Teeth
  • Infection
  • Gingivitis
  • Brushing too hard

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers 95% of the situations we see around the office regarding tooth sensitivity. The sudden change in temperature can affect these sensitive areas cause a sharp, unsettling pain or discomfort. Most of the issues on the list can be traced back to a lack of proper oral hygiene and can be fixed at home pretty simply.

How to Stop Sensitivity

There are several ways to help sensitivity in your teeth. The most common two are desensitizing toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride. There are two main types of desensitizing toothpastes out there, Potassium and Calcium desensitizers.

Potassium based desensitizers work by depolarizing areas of exposed root or dentin. This, over the course of 2-4 weeks, helps to reduce or eliminate tooth pain related to sensitivity. The downside of this is that it takes a while to work, but when it does work it works well.

Calcium based desensitizers work like the bodies natural remineralization process to protect the nerve endings. These toothpastes will plug open pores encasing the tooth calcium. The only drawback is that acid erosion and abrasive events during the day can reopen these pores which will lead to sensitivity again, so eat well during the day!

We recommend starting with Calcium based desensitizers. They are immediate relief that can help in the current cold weather.

Prolonged Sensitivity

Sometimes the sensitivity is caused by a deeper problem such as loose fillings, cracked teeth, or cavities. These problems are usually something that a trained professional should be fixing should not be attempted to be fixed at home.  See your dentist if you experienced:

  • Prolonged sensitivity in the cold
  • Deep, sharp pain when in the cold
  • Continued pain even after headed inside out of the cold
  • Continued pain after trying the toothpastes above

It is possible that you will need prescribed strength toothpaste for extremely sensitive teeth or a dental procedure to fix issues such as cavities or cracked teeth.

Wrap Up

The cold can be painful for some we know, but if you take a few steps to fight back you’ll be able to head outside this winter without worry. If you have any more questions or need to set up an appointment reach out to us today over at!