dry mouth in winter -- man smiling wearing sunglasses, coat, and scarf

How Does Winter Weather Affect Your Mouth?

The winter months are upon us! Although it may not get too cold in Arizona, there’s still enough chill in the air—especially at night—for Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry patients to be aware of how the winter season can impact their oral health. For example, did you know many people suffer from dry mouth in winter? Or that tooth pain is not uncommon in January and February?

Dry Mouth in Winter

One of the most common oral health complaints that develops during the winter is dry mouth. Because cold air has less moisture, the air you breathe during the winter can dehydrate your mouth. If you’re not drinking extra water to compensate, you may find yourself suffering from dry mouth

When your mouth is dry, it does not produce enough saliva, which means that bacteria and food particles can easily adhere to your teeth and gums. This causes gum inflammation and diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Plaque buildup can also break down tooth enamel, causing cavities and other issues.  

The good news is that dry mouth is a pretty easy issue to fix. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water every day is key. Chewing sugar-free gum is another great way to stimulate saliva production. You might also want to consider adding a humidifier to your home if you suffer from dry mouth in winter. 

Winter Tooth Pain

Have you ever noticed that your teeth are more sensitive during the winter? You’re not alone! Some people naturally are more susceptible to cold. The same pain and tooth sensitivity from eating or drinking something cold can also occur when breathing in cold air. 

The winter months are also prime cold and flu season. If your sinuses become infected or inflamed, this can place pressure on the nerves that run through your mouth, making teeth more sensitive and painful.

When outside in the cold air, try breathing through your nose rather than your mouth whenever possible. This can help alleviate pain issues for those whose teeth are sensitive to the cold. You can also try wearing a scarf or other face-covering over your mouth to warm the air you’re breathing.

Cold Sores in Winter

A drop in temperature can also trigger cold sores. A cold sore is a small blister on the mouth, usually on or around the lips. The blister fills with fluid, bursts after a few days, and forms a scar. Cold sores generally heal on their own in a couple of weeks. 

The sensitive and thin skin on lips is prone to drying out in cold air. This can leave lips more susceptible to cold sores. Make sure to keep your mouth and lips covered when out in the cold, especially if it’s windy. Drink lots of water to keep your lips hydrated and use a lip balm to help retain moisture. 

Get Your Mouth Winter-Ready in Peoria, Arizona 

The winter season is a great time to get outside and enjoy all that Peoria and Glendale have to offer. With a few easy tips and a little forethought, you can make sure your entire mouth is fully protected from tooth pain, cold sores, and dry mouth in winter. 

If you are experiencing any dental pain or discomfort from the winter weather, and want to make sure it’s nothing serious, we would be happy to see you! Contact Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels