Cold winter weather can be hard on our bodies and our overall health. Many of us notice that colds and the flu are more common in winter, and as we get older the cold weather often brings aches and pains. What some of us may not realize, however, is that the cold weather provides additional concerns that affect our oral health. Your Overland Park dentist has a few solutions to common oral health complaints that come up during the winter:
Dry mouth and chapped lips: Dry mouth is more than a minor discomfort. It can actually lead to more serious problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Winter weather brings with it cold, dry air, so it’s extra important to drink plenty of water when it’s cold outside to help keep yourself hydrated. That same cold winter air can also chap your lips. Drinking water helps, but it’s also a good idea to wear lip balm with an SPF of at least 15. This can also help protect against canker sore and cold sores.
Canker sores and cold sores: These are among the most unpleasant minor oral health concerns that come with cold weather, but some people may not know the difference between canker sores and cold sores. Canker sores typically show up inside the mouth and are often caused by high-acid foods. Cold sores, on the other hand, affect the lips and the edges of your mouth. As their name implies, cold sores can crop up due to exposure to cold weather. Keeping your lips and mouth protected when you go out can help keep cold sores at bay.
Cold weather tooth sensitivity: Believe it or not, your teeth are actually full of nerves. That means they’re naturally sensitive to hot or cold beverages, foods, and even outside temperatures. Have you ever gone out on a day when it was so cold that it made your teeth ache? That’s not your imagination. We also tend to sip a lot more warm or hot drinks during the winter months, which can be painful for those with sensitive teeth. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity this winter, it may be a good idea to try brushing with an ADA-approved toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, but your best bet is to see your Overland Park dentist and ask what we can do to help.
Winter sports injuries: From skiing and snowboarding to ice hockey, winter sports are a great way to enjoy the cold weather, but they also carry their own risks. Falls on the ice can lead to dental injuries, especially for those who aren’t wearing a properly fitted mouthguard.
Whether you need a mouthguard before you hit the slopes, are experiencing tooth sensitivity when you drink those delicious hot beverages, or just want to safeguard your health against the cold winter weather, it’s always a good idea to make regular visits to see your Overland Park dentist! Call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment or chat with a member of our friendly staff today!