Beating Cold Weather Tooth Pain

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The winter season can bring on tooth pain due to a couple of main causes. One is often a surprise for most patients seeking treatment for a toothache when the cold snaps begin. One rare situation can even be life-threatening and not have anything to do with an actual problem with the aching teeth. So, let’s take a look at what may be happening when your teeth start to hurt as the temperatures start to drop outdoors.

 

Sinus Infections and Allergies

 

Though it may seem odd, your sinuses can be causing your tooth pain. Sinus infections and allergies that begin to become quite prevalent in the fall and winter seasons can easily cause referred pain into the region of the teeth. In some people the sinus cavity is very close to the root areas of their upper teeth. Inflammation and congestion associated with a sinus infection or plain old hay fever can make it feel like you have a toothache. Treating the sinus infection or allergies fixes the problem.

 

Sensitive Teeth

 

Many people complain of sensitive teeth. Teeth are not completely solid even though they look like it with the naked eye. The fact is that teeth have microscopic tubules that are like little tunnels down into the interior parts of what they are made up of. In some people the sensitivity is so great that they cannot tolerate any acidic foods or beverages coming in contact with their teeth, and hot or cold foods or liquids can get them to scream in pain. Teeth that are this sensitive along with the cold air of winter do not mix well. Toothpastes that contain potassium nitrate help. The potassium nitrate plugs up the tubules in tooth surfaces, reducing pain. However, it is important to see a dentist within four weeks of beginning to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth to make sure you are not masking a serious problem.

 

A Developing Cavity

 

Cavities do not appear overnight. They develop over time. The affected tooth eventually reaches a point when decay exposes the inner structures of the tooth, and severe pain and even a serious infection known as an abscess can result. In the early stages there may be a sensitivity to cold air, cold foods or beverages, and possibly even hot foods or beverages. Most likely though, cold will exacerbate the pain of a cavity that is getting closer to the root of a tooth. Metal amalgam fillings can also potentially conduct cold more effectively than resin fillings and may cause sensitivity to cold air. Good oral hygiene helps to prevent cavities.

 

Heart Problems

 

Though not common, there have been people who have made an appointment with their dentist to determine the cause of tooth pain only to find out it is a heart condition. The heart has no nerves that sense pain. Hearts can be in distress for a long time before a full blown heart attack occurs. As a blood vessel in the heart begins to get blocked, the heart begins to be in distress to get enough oxygenated blood to keep pumping effectively. Most heart attack pain is radiating pain in the left arm, across the shoulders or in the jaw. However, people feel things differently, and some have felt tooth pain when in fact they had a heart blockage. If good oral hygiene has led to healthy teeth, a visit to a dental clinic can quickly determine if the source of the pain is a tooth or not.

 

Keep your teeth healthy no matter what the season. Make sure everyone in the house practices good oral hygiene. Ensure it by teaching oral hygiene education to children. There are many good online sources that have excellent tips for good oral hygiene to help get kids brushing and flossing daily. Healthy teeth from a young age helps to prevent cavities, root canals and tartar (calculus) that can lead to tooth loss and heart disease as well as enamel erosion that can lead to sensitivity pain.

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