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When most people think of cold weather and their health, they think of sniffles, sore throats, and the flu. Although all of these things do happen more during the winter months, cold weather can affect your dental health, as well. When cold temperatures hit, these are some of the reasons you may need to seek dental care in Lake Stevens, WA.

Sensitive Teeth

If you have tooth sensitivity, your symptoms may become worse in the winter. Simply taking a deep breath of cold air could trigger a shock of pain, and sipping on hot drinks can make it worse. Tooth sensitivity occurs when you have exposed dentin, which occurs as the result of erosion and plaque and tartar buildup, so stick to a careful dental hygiene routine and limit your consumption of acidic drinks to prevent further sensitivity from developing. Outside in cold temperatures, make an effort to breathe through your nose, so your teeth aren’t exposed to cold air. Try drinking coffee and other hot drinks through a straw, so that your teeth come into less contact with the liquid.

Dry Mouth

Because colds are so common during winter, cases of dry mouth also increase. When you have a cold, your nasal passages can become congested. In response, you tend to breathe through your mouth more, which in turn causes your mouth to dry out. Sip water and chew on sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist during the cold weather months, and consider cutting your coffee habit, since caffeine will further dry out your mouth. If your dry mouth is persistent or it happens year round, have a dental checkup to find out if there is an underlying cause. A dry mouth can increase the risk of cavities, so talk to your dentist to find a solution.

Low Levels of Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in keeping teeth healthy. Because sun exposure is a key part in maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D, your body’s supply may not be adequate during winter, when you spend more time indoors. Ask your dentist if you should consider taking a supplement to protect your teeth. Drinking more milk and eating more fatty fish can also help.