Cold Weather Warnings For Teeth And Gums
As the cooler weather approaches, what things should our Bedford dental patients look out for?
It is probably a bit premature to be expecting icy blasts of wind and snow in the next few weeks, but after the recent late ‘heatwave’, things are starting to cool down, with some parts of the country expected to fall below freezing this week. Nobody can tell whether it will be a bitterly cold winter or not, but the lower temperatures generally, can present a few issues for our teeth and gums, and this is something that we are going to take a look at in today’s blog.
We hope that patients of The Dental Centre Bedford find this blog useful and that it helps to protect their teeth and gums until the warmer weather arrives next year.
Most of us probably associate dehydration with hot weather, but it is almost as easy to become dehydrated during colder weather. This can potentially be dangerous as we tend not to detect that we are becoming dehydrated as well in colder weather as in warm. Especially if you take part in exercising, make sure to drink plenty of water, however cold it is.
From a dental perspective, a dry mouth, as we have mentioned before, helps to provide an excellent breeding ground for potentially harmful bacteria that can contribute to gum disease. Make sure to continue to drink plenty of fluids, and water especially, even when it is cold.
Although cold weather doesn’t generally contribute to the causes of sensitive teeth, anyone who suffers from this is likely to notice it more when the weather is cooler. Damaged enamel means that contact with icy air is likely to be especially painful for patients who suffer from this. Having a hot drink to warm you up can also reveal this problem too. Whilst prevention is the best way to avoid this; those who are already suffering from this should discuss dental veneers with their dentist to help prevent this and protect their teeth.
High sugar diet
Colder weather means one thing for many of us, and that is that it brings the perfect excuse to start consuming more ‘comfort food and drinks’. Hot drinks and sticky puddings are a great way to fend off the cold weather, but their use also has consequences for our teeth and gums. Most of these products are not only often very satisfying, but also usually packed with sugar. As we know all too well, sugar is one of the biggest enemies of healthy teeth. Whilst we don’t expect patients to avoid them altogether, do keep it in mind and also pay attention when you clean your teeth to do so correctly and efficiently so that as much sugar as possible is removed.
Colds and flu
The colder weather often heralds the start of cold and flu season. Many of the things already mentioned will be exaggerated when we feel ill. We are likely to eat more sugary foods to give us energy and we may also skip cleaning our teeth altogether. Cough sweets and syrups are often packed with sugar, making this period very challenging for our teeth and gums. It might not be easy when you are feeling ill, but do try to look after your teeth and make sure to continue cleaning them, however tired you might feel.
One effect of the above is that our sinuses can become infected. The sinus cavity is located above our back teeth and infections in it can cause pressure to build and it may feel as though we have a painful toothache. This should subside as the infection clears and vanish altogether when fully recovered. If you have any concerns about your teeth though, do give The Dental Centre Bedford a call for further advice.
Vitamin D deficiency
Winter can be a dull time of the year, with the sun not visible for much of it. As we get a lot of vitamin D from exposure to the sun, this can be a problem for our teeth as this is an important vitamin for them. Do try to get out when the sun is shining but it may also be worth considering taking a vitamin D supplement at least throughout the autumn and winter months.
Each season brings its own benefits and challenges to us and there is no reason why we shouldn’t make the best of the cold weather, especially when the sun is out. Wrapping up and going for a walk in the winter sun can be beautiful and good for our mental and physical health. It also improves circulation which also helps to fight off infections including gum disease. It does also bring its downsides too, but, with a little care and attention over the cooler months, we should be able to avoid too many problems with our oral health.
Remember too, that cold weather shouldn’t be an excuse not to attend your regular check up appointments. Seeing both the dentist and the hygienist every six months is essential for a healthy mouth. If you don’t have an appointment booked or are new to the area and would like to register with us, please call our Bedford dental clinic today on 01234 819868.