Autumn is in the air; as the seasons change, the nights draw in, and the days become shorter and cooler. These changes can also affect your oral health in several ways. Understanding the potential impact will enable you to maintain optimal oral health year-round more easily.
- Tooth Sensitivity
Many people have sensitive teeth, and the changing seasons can worsen the symptoms. When you go outside on a cooler autumn day, your teeth and gums are exposed to these colder temperatures. Tooth sensitivity can result in mild discomfort or more substantial pain. The problem is worse if you have receding gums and where tooth roots are exposed. Because tooth roots are not covered in enamel, they are more prone to registering temperature changes. Keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose, or wear a face covering to reduce the impact. If you have significant discomfort, come and see us in case you need dental treatment to help protect any exposed tooth roots or prevent any gum recession from worsening.
- Dry Mouth
During autumn and winter, humidity levels can decrease, making the air drier. These drier conditions can negatively impact problems with dry mouth, especially if you are in the habit of breathing through your mouth. A dry mouth can be uncomfortable because you cannot produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist and comfortable. In addition, it can damage teeth and gums as the dry conditions allow harmful bacteria to thrive, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Try to breathe through your nose to keep your mouth moist, and chewing sugar-free gum or sweets can help stimulate your saliva glands. Make sure you brush and floss regularly as removing dental plaque, the biofilm that contains harmful, disease-causing bacteria, will help protect you from oral disease.
- Season Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a real problem for many people, as sunlight declines and can lead to feeling low or depressed. These feelings can result in self-neglect, so you are less inclined to care for yourself properly and could neglect oral care. If SAD impacts you, try to get out into the daylight each day and investing in a SAD light for home use can make a huge difference when used regularly.
- Tooth Pain When Drinking Hot Beverages
A hot drink can be comforting on a cold day, but not if it causes pain. Tooth pain can result if you have minor issues like cracks or chips in teeth, any untreated cavities, or failing fillings. These all allow the heat to penetrate a tooth more easily, so the sensations can reach the tooth nerve right in the centre. One strategy is to allow the drink to cool before consuming it, but it can be a sign that you should visit a dentist.
The changing seasons can affect oral health, but the impact should be minimal for anyone in reasonable dental health. If you notice any more significant problems like tooth pain or discomfort, please come and see us, especially if it is time for a checkup.