Can Extreme Pressure And Temperature Affect Your Teeth?

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Tooth pain can be uncomfortable and make everyday tasks like eating and smiling difficult to perform. It is common knowledge toothaches are often caused by well-known dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. There are, however, less apparent causes that might indicate dental problems or other health issues. Among these causes are natural phenomenons like weather changes and air pressure. The following is a brief discussion about how these occurrences can impact your teeth, the underlying conditions that may be indicated and what you can do to alleviate the discomfort.

Cold Temperatures

When winter takes hold, the chill in the air can impact many parts of the body, including our teeth. It is believed that inhaling cold air through our mouths causes our teeth to contract, resulting in gum irritation which can lead to pain and discomfort.

Warm Temperatures

Warm weather has the potential to create a different problem for your teeth. During the spring and summer months, allergens like dust, grass and pollen permeate the air we breathe. Those susceptible to nasal allergies might experience symptoms like nasal congestion. This congestion may result in the clogging of your ear canals and nasal sinus cavities. Should this result, the teeth closest to your ears and sinuses might feel the pain caused by the irritation and swelling within these areas.

Air Pressure

Anyone who has traveled on an airplane is familiar with the occasional ear popping and pressure that can happen as the aircraft ascends to its cruising altitude. Minor ear pressure and tooth pain lasting for short intervals is common under these circumstances and is typically nothing to be concerned about. However, if air pressure changes cause more significant pain and pressure and occurs for longer durations, potentially harmful conditions like middle ear or sinus infections may be the underlying culprit. In addition, oral discomfort arising from changes in air pressure could be the byproduct of damaged teeth or potential flaws relating to any dental work you might have had.

What Action Can You Take To Alleviate Discomfort?

If you reside in a cold weather climate or will soon be visiting one, dental experts recommend you consume hot beverages regularly, particularly on trips outside during unusually cold spells. Drinking things like hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate will warm your teeth up and help regulate temperatures against such harsh conditions. You should also breathe through your nose. By practicing this breathing technique, your teeth won’t be exposed to cold air. Many Dentists also recommend those with cold weather tooth sensitivity use fluoride-based toothpastes and rinses, as these products are said to provide relief to those dealing with such an affliction.

When warm weather allergens are behind your tooth discomfort, relief might be found in the form of antihistamines and nasal decongestants that eliminate or alleviate nasal symptoms. Affected individuals might also consider getting tested by an Allergist to determine what allergen(s) is/are causing your sensitivity. If such a determination can be made, you may be able to avoid places the guilty substance is found in greater abundance.

Nasal decongestants, which work to unclog ear and sinus passages, might also be recommended for those in whom changes in air pressure precipitate tooth pain. Chewing gum may also provide relief. If feasible, those suffering under these circumstances might also choose a different mode of transportation like driving or taking the train (your mileage may vary, depending upon the trip, however).

When Should You See Your Dentist?

Seek professional care if the pain persists for more than a few days after traveling in such conditions or self-care treatments do not provide adequate relief. If the problems continue when you are not exposed to extreme weather, impacted by allergens or not traveling by air, contact your dentist or primary health physician immediately.

This guest post is courtesy of The Center for Dental Excellence, a dentist located in Pocatello, ID that has been serving the surrounding area for years with the latest equipment and techniques.

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