Autumn has arrived in Australia, and that means the temperature is finally dropping as the calendar marches towards the cold days of winter. Once the temperature truly begins to dip, dental awareness becomes more important than ever. As someone who has not previously considered the impact this season plays on oral health, here are three reasons why you must pay attention to dental signals once winter arrives this year.
As a child, it might have been fun to hear your teeth chatter in winter. However, teeth chattering is detrimental to your mouth for two reasons:
- as the teeth bounce off each other, you can chip the tooth enamel
- the jaw is clenched while it chatters, and this can lead to the teeth grinding against each other, resulting in cracks, chips or breaks.
When you feel your teeth start to chatter in the cold, make a conscious effort to relax your jaw while you seek a warmer spot to be.
There are several reasons why tooth enamel thins over time. Examples include age, exposure to acid from soft drinks or bacteria attack. As the tooth enamel thins, tiny nerve endings become exposed to the air, and that's how tooth sensitivity starts. Once the nerves are exposed, extreme temperatures of both hot and cold cause you to wince each time the nerves encounter these temperature changes. You cannot rebuild your enamel, but you can talk to your dentist about ways to reduce the amount of sensitivity you experience.
Nobody likes to experience a cold or the flu, but over the winter months the number of people who get sick rises. Seasonal illness impacts your mouth in a number of ways, including:
- medication taken may weaken your tooth enamel
- drinking excess citrus juice for vitamins also exposes your teeth to increased amounts of acid
- vomiting while having the flu exposes your teeth to stomach acid
During illness it is vital you get out of bed to clean your teeth twice a day even when you don't feel like it. Your dental health relies on the protection this action provides.
As you can see, winter can impact the inside of your mouth quite significantly. When your teeth or jaw give you any cause for concern, you must brave the cold and head out to see your local dentist. They can ensure that problems are swiftly dealt with so that your beautiful smile remains intact once spring returns again.