woman wrapped in pullover by cold weather

In response to extreme heat and cold, your teeth expand and contract. Over time, this can lead to cracks in your teeth and increased sensitivity. Weather sensitivity can occur regardless of how well you care for your teeth. Your risk of sensitivity increases if you do not practice great oral hygiene during the months or if you live where the weather changes drastically.

To minimize tooth sensitivity during the cold weather months, learn about the common causes of sensitive teeth and when you should schedule a dentist appointment if the discomfort continues.

How Winter Weather Can Cause Toothaches and Sensitivity

The winter season may be filled with holiday cheer and family gatherings, but the coldest months of the year can also bring you unexpected health challenges. You may experience more frequent or intensified tooth sensitivity over the winter months due to the extreme temperature changes your body experiences. If you already experience tooth sensitivity, you likely experience a more intense discomfort whenever your teeth become cold due to these weather-related reasons.

Brushing too Vigorously

Brushing your teeth is an essential way to maintain your oral health. However, brushing your teeth improperly can contribute to certain oral conditions, including sensitivity. When you use too much force while brushing your teeth, you can wear down the outer layer of your enamel. Thinning enamel can expose the inner layers of your teeth, causing pain and sensitivity.

Give yourself plenty of time to brush your teeth properly and gently. Always consult with your dentist at your bi-annual checkups to determine whether you are using the right type of toothbrush for your teeth and if your teeth show signs of aggressive brushing.

Clenching or Grinding

The holidays are a stressful time of year, and many people may find themselves clenching or grinding their teeth due to this stress. Teeth clenching and grinding can wear down your tooth enamel, leading to your teeth being overly sensitive.

Tooth Decay

Sensitivity to cold is an early sign of an undetected tooth decay issue. If you start to experience tooth pain, it’s always best to schedule an appointment to see your dentist to rule out a cavity.


Looking our best is something everyone strives for during the holiday season. At-home whitening products can brighten your smile and take you from dull and yellow to cheerful and white. However, you should always exercise restraint when whitening your teeth and do so under the care of a trusted dentist.

Some whitening solutions contain harsh chemicals that can weaken your enamel, causing tooth sensitivity. Discuss your whitening options with your dentist before beginning a whitening regimen.

Hot Beverages

Many patients who experience tooth sensitivity have pain related to a specific type of stimuli, such as extreme temperatures. In the winter, you may find yourself drinking more hot beverages. Warm beverages can exacerbate existing sensitivity. Additionally, when you drink a hot beverage while outdoors during winter, you are more likely to feel tooth sensitivity. The vast temperature difference can irritate exposed nerve endings, causing an intensified pain.

Seasonal Illness

Pain in the areas around your teeth can also cause tooth sensitivity. For example, you may be more susceptible to colds, flu, and sinus infections. These seasonal illnesses can all contribute to tooth sensitivity because they inflame the maxillary sinus. If you notice your upper front teeth being sensitive in addition to having a head cold, your illness may be causing the sensitivity.

Sugary Foods

The winter holidays feature rich, sugary foods. While these foods may encourage holiday cheer, they also increase your risk of tooth decay. Even small cavities can expose the nerves in your teeth, causing tooth sensitivity. While it’s essential to clean your teeth after devouring a sugary treat, don’t brush immediately. Instead, drink a glass of water or chew sugar-free gum to help remove some of the remaining food and sugar particles.

When to See a Dentist

If you experience wintertime tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with Hoffman Dental Center. It’s vital to identify whether your discomfort is due to gum disease, tooth decay, or other contributing factors. Together we can create a strategy for decreasing your pain and reducing the risk of future sensitivity.