We’ve all felt it: the drop in temperature as winter in January is here bringing on the coldest time of the year in our area. As ‘winter’ approaches, there are many things people have on their minds, getting kids back into their school routine, trying to stay healthy and FLU FREE to making sure their snow tires and salt are ready. However, one of the things to check off of your mental (or actual!) checklist is to make sure you visit your dentist, especially if you haven’t kept up with your regular cleanings and check-ups.
Here are a few reasons why…
Large, Cracked or Broken Fillings
Fillings are placed after decay is removed from a tooth. Sometimes this decay is very close to the tooth’s nerve, which can cause sensitivity or pain, or can extend to multiple if not all surfaces of a tooth. Over time, these large fillings can fatigue and even crack or break. Bacteria that is naturally present in our mouths can then cause even more decay around these broken and cracked fillings. Seeing our dental team on a regular basis allows us to check for any signs of fatigue or breaks to help prevent more tooth damage.
If a tooth is damaged by decay or fractures, the tooth may die and then become infected and painful. Cold liquids and breathing in cold, winter air can cause this pain to jump from irritating to excruciating. During the winter, temperatures frequently drop to below freezing on a daily basis, making it rather painful to breathe while outdoors with a toothache.
When thinking about oral health, many people think they just need to take care of their teeth. However, the gum tissue is just as important to keep healthy and is often overlooked during our home care routines. Gum health is directly linked to bone health. If the bone recedes, so does the gum tissue, and then the sensitive root surfaces will be exposed. Taking care of your bone and gums is very important for the long-term health of your teeth, not to mention the discomfort we can feel while breathing in that cold dry air.
General Tooth Sensitivity
There are many reasons your teeth could be experiencing sensitivity to hot, cold or pressure:
- Brushing your teeth and flossing too forcefully can cause the gums to recede.
- Grinding your teeth, either while you are sleeping or during stressful times can also cause recession.
- Some people are sensitive to whitening toothpaste and some are sensitive to certain mouthwashes.
- Gum or periodontal disease is present.
- Cracked or broken teeth are present.
What To Do About the Tooth Pain
It may seem like you are stuck with your tooth sensitivity this winter, but you aren’t. By scheduling your checkup with Dr. Robertson and one of our hygienist, you will be able to discuss your issues and get a full cleaning and exam along with needed x-rays to diagnose what treatment you need in the near future.
Dental fillings are a great way to replace tooth structure that has been lost due to decay or breakage. Over time, these fillings can become old, cracking, leaking or even falling out. Our teeth also can fatigue over time and not be able to support these fillings anymore. When that happens, your tooth may crack or even break apart.
If this happens, your fillings may need to be replaced, or a crown may be needed to replace the lost tooth structure and restore the proper function of your tooth. Please see us on a regular basis to discuss your individual dental needs!
Talk With Dr. Robertson About Periodontal Issues
Gum recession is a serious issue. Some patients have such bad recession that only tissue grafting surgery can reverse it. If you have receding gums and tooth sensitivity, it is important to talk to Dr. Robertson and one of our trained dental hygienists to see what types of treatment will be right to treat your gums.
Discuss Your Sensitivity With Our Dental Team
Even if you do not have receding gums or broken teeth, your teeth may experience sensitivity. Talk to our dental hygienists to find out what you can do about this. Sometimes it can be as simple as adding fluoride to your regular cleanings and checkups or using toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Dr. Robertson will determine if your sensitivity can be turned around by simply using over the counter products such as this, or if you are truly in need of other dental work to ease your pain.
Maximize Your NEW 2018 Dental Insurance Benefits!
Winter can be an enjoyable time, but not when you experience pain every single time you breathe in. The beginning of the year also brings on the start of your full insurance benefits! Don’t hesitate to schedule your appointments later in the year, as many patients want to hold out and bring on a create a small problem into a much bigger problem if caught early. If you are having pain, it is more important than ever to make an appointment with us. We want you smiling and enjoying these cold winter months ahead!