Now that the air is getting chillier and there’s festive music all around the neighborhood, you know the holiday season is here. Not only will you expect delicious meals, brilliant lights, and parades, but you’ll also likely need to bundle up from the cold. While you might keep your body warm, sometimes dry and chilly conditions can make it difficult to care for your smile. Keep reading to learn about four common winter mouth issues and how to keep your pearly whites safe!
Many people tend to struggle with chapped or dried lips during the colder seasons. While this is natural, it doesn’t mean you have to go about your day with a vulnerable mouth. To avoid cracking your lips, be sure to properly moisturize your lips by drinking plenty of water, wearing lip balm, and even using a humidifier while you sleep.
During cold weather (or if you have a cold), breathing through your nose may become challenging, which can lead you to start opening your mouth more often. By doing so, you can risk drying out your oral cavity, increasing the risk of lowering your saliva production and allowing bacteria to thrive. Saliva is crucial for both naturally washing away germs and neutralizing acid byproducts, preventing your enamel from wearing down. For this reason, you should try breathing through your nose more frequently. If you must breathe through your mouth, drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Does your smile tend to react dramatically to extreme temperatures from foods and drinks? If so, this can become a bigger problem during the winter months. Not only can tooth sensitivity occur due to the cold, but it can also be an indication of an issue like decay or infection that’ll need to be treated right away. Try using toothpaste for sensitivity, but make sure to schedule a visit with your dentist. They may be able to apply composite resin over the affected area to address any uncomfortable sensations.
You might notice that you clench your jaw when stressed or walking in a freezing breeze. This places excessive pressure on your teeth as well as your temporomandibular joint. The more frequently you do this, the more harmed your jaw can be from the strain. Try your best not to clench or grind your teeth, and practice stress-relieving techniques like meditation and mindfulness.
While the winter season can cause problems with your oral health, it doesn’t mean it’ll prevent you from making the most of your time. Keep these few tips in mind, and you should be able to enjoy a healthy and comfortable smile during the next cold months!
Dr. Racha W. Kadamani earned her dental doctorate from the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California. She regularly seeks continuing education to refine her skills and is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. She provides a wide range of advanced treatments, including dental checkups/cleanings, fluoride treatment, and dental bonding. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, visit her website or call 210-782-6842.
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