Changing Seasons & Tooth Sensitivity

Changing Seasons & Tooth Sensitivity
Posted on 10/24/2017

As the seasons change, there is evidence all around us. Fallen leaves with beautiful colors accompany the dropping temperatures. We have to reach for our jacket to lessen the morning chill. Have you ever noticed tooth sensitivity as the seasons change? It is a common issue.

Teeth are alive, with nerves and blood vessels in the center. The root structure is made up of tiny tubes with mobile fluid inside. If the “cap” of that tubule is exposed to the mouth’s environment, this is often the source of sensitivity. The exposure happens with gingival recession, loss of attachment fibers (mucogingival defects), or periodontal disease. Gingival recession can occur with over-aggressive brushing and even too heavy of a bite (malocclusion).

So, how do we reduce this type of tooth hypersensitivity? For starters, make sure to use a less abrasive toothpaste. Sensodyne ProEnamel and Biotene Dry Mouth toothpaste are low in RDA (relative dentinal abrasiveness). Since the RDA is not printed on toothpaste, a good rule of thumb is to avoid any paste or gel that is whitening, advanced, or tartar control. You can also rub the paste between your fingers, if it feels gritty, then avoid that toothpaste until your teeth get used to the colder temperatures.

At your next dental appointment, ask Dr. Melanie Steckelberg for our toothpaste RDA handout. Often, avoiding the more abrasive toothpastes during the changing of the seasons is all that you need to do. After your teeth are less cold-sensitive, go back to your favorite paste a couple of days during the week, to help your smile stay bright.

And, as always, get your individualized tooth hygiene plan through Steckelberg Dental. Visit the dentist every six months. Brush your teeth twice daily, and clean between your teeth every day. I want you to enjoy your smile for a lifetime and in all seasons!
~Dr. Melanie A. Steckelberg