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Do Your Teeth Hurt When It’s Cold Outside? You’re Not Hallucinating

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If your teeth feel sensitive when you go out into cold weather, you’re not imagining it. Here’s why it’s happening.

Do you ever find that your teeth feel sensitive when you head outside during the Winter and breathe through your mouth? If so, don’t worry — you’re not just imagining it. The dental pain triggered by extreme temperatures can have several causes such as tooth decay, exposed dentin, upset tooth nerves due to grinding teeth, or a newly placed dental filling.

“Some people’s teeth are sensitive to the cold,” says Dr. Gregg Michael Festa, DDS. “This is most likely due to the outer coverings of tooth structure being compromised by wear or decay.” And while Festa goes on to say that some people’s teeth can also be sensitive to the cold due to gum recession, it’s best to get a dental exam by your dentist to determine the cause of your exact tooth sensitivity.

Living With Tooth Sensitivity

According to a study of US adults 25+, 4 out of 10 people live with the type of tooth sensitivity resulting from exposed dentin, so if you deal with sensitive teeth, you’re not alone. Certain habits may increase your chances of developing tooth sensitivity, explains Dr. Festa. For instance, brushing too hard or brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush may cause abrasion to your teeth as well as gums, wearing down your tooth enamel, exposing the next layer of your tooth (the dentin), and causing gum recession.

Thankfully, there are ways to avoid further dental damage that can lead to tooth sensitivity when the weather drops. Brushing properly with a soft toothbrush, and regular flossing to help keep your gums healthy (and avoid gum recession and dentin exposure), are two super easy ways to keep your oral health in good shape.

How To Fix Tooth Sensitivity

If you don’t have cavities or tooth damage but still have sensitivity, a simple trick to get relief is to brush twice daily with a toothpaste specialized for sensitive teeth, such as Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste, which can help relieve tooth sensitivity in just three days. Thanks to its unique formulation with stannous fluoride, Sensodyne works to create a protective shield over your teeth’s most sensitive areas, providing sensitivity protection with twice daily brushing.

So the next time you’re getting ready to face the cold temperatures, be sure you have your jacket, boots, and Sensodyne, all on hand!

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