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Winter Oral Health Issues and What Can Be Done to Prevent Them

Posted by Nicole

Woman Smiling in WinterBrrrr. Winter is here. We don’t need to tell you that with winter, comes cold weather. Colder temperatures affect many aspects of our lives, including our oral health.

We’ll tell you about some of the most common winter oral health issues.

Not to worry, we’ll also share some of the ways you prevent these issues or find relief should you experience them.

Dry Mouth
The cold, dry air of winter makes it more difficult for your mouth to produce saliva. In turn, your mouth may tend to feel quite dry in the wintertime. Since it is important for the mouth to be moist with saliva, this dryness can lead to other oral health issues.

Canker Sores
Canker sores are mouth ulcers, and they often peak during the winter months. This is because the dry air makes dries the mouth making tissues more prone to injury and infection. Saliva helps rid the mouth of bacteria and food particles. When your mouth is dry, you have less saliva to help out with this. Additionally, immune systems tend to be more compromised in the winter which can add to the why canker sores are so common in the winter.

Chapped Lips
You guessed it, your dry mouth can lead to dry lips. Additionally, harsh winds and freezing temperatures also cause the lips to chap, crack and dry out.

Tooth Sensitivity
Moving from warm temperatures to cold temperatures can add pressure to the nerves beneath the tooth’s surface causing you to feel like you have a toothache, especially if you already have sensitive teeth.

Jaw Pain
Cold weather can cause your joints and muscles to tighten up including the muscles in your jaw area causing a painful sensation. If you suffer from TMJ disorder, this can make the problem harder to manage.

Cracked Teeth
Teeth may become cracked over time due to age and normal wear and tear. However, changing temperatures can also cause cracks or cause small existing cracks to worsen as they expand and contract with temperature changes.

Keep your mouth healthy and pain free throughout the winter season.

• Be sure to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and consider using a humidifier inside of your home. We also recommend moisturizing your lips and mouth area.

• Use a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.

• Keep warm. When exposing yourself to the outdoors, use a scarf or turtleneck to cover you neck and mouth areas.

• Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if you’ve been sick.

As always, practice good oral hygiene. This is important all year long but can also go a long way in preventing oral health issues brought on by colder temperatures. At a minimum, be sure to brush and floss your teeth two times per day and visit your dentist two times per year.

If you experience any winter oral discomfort and our recommendations don’t seem to help, please reach out to our office. We can help!