For many people, the time of year when the months start to get colder is their favorite. This means sweaters, warm drinks, and cheesy holiday movies. Unfortunately, it also means new oral health problems. If you aren’t careful, your smile will be in a bad way by the end of the season. To help you prevnet this, read on to learn five tips to help you avoid winter mouth issues.
Tip #1: Wear Lip Balm
Lip balm helps keep your lips well hydrated. This is especially helpful during the winter months since the humidity is lower. As a result, the skin on your lips may dry out and become cracked. Along with giving your mouth and smile a less appealing look, this may also make you more likely to get the herpes simplex virus, which is what causes cold sores. Make sure that your lip balm contains SPF to protect them from the sun. If you have herpes, you should also wash your hands regularly to avoid spreading it when you touch your face.
Tip #2: Stay Warm
Your joints and muscles tend to tense up more when it’s cold outside, which causes tendons, muscles, and surrounding tissues to expand. This can be uncomfortable and may lead to additional tightness or discomfort for those who have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues. The best ways to combat this are to stay warm, drink hot beverages, and keep your heat on at home throughout the season.
Tip #3: Drink Lots of Water
Dry mouth occurs when your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva. If you wait too long to treat dry mouth, this can lead to cavities, mouth sores, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid this. You can also eat sugar-free hard candy, chew sugar free-gum, or munch on fresh, crisp fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, pears, and celery to increase saliva production.
Tip #4: Pick the Right Toothpaste
Tooth sensitivity can sometimes worsen during the winter since additional pressure is put on the nerves in the teeth when the weather changes from hot to cold. Consuming hot and cold foods and beverages can also worsen the sensitivity and cause sharp pain. Desensitizing toothpaste protects the nerves in the teeth to help lessen discomfort.
Tip #5: Use a Humidifier
There is less moisture in the air during the winter time. This can cause your skin to become chapped and dry, which makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to damage the oral cavity. Consider using a humidifier to add moisture back into the air.
Winter is an exciting time of year, so don’t let unexpected winter mouth issues put a damper on things. By following the above tips, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong all winter long!
About the Author
Dr. Kevin Labosky is a skilled State College based dentist who earned his DMD from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1997. He then worked as an associate dentist for seven years before deciding to open up his own practice in 2004. Dr. Labosky takes pride in what he does, and it shows in the way he administers exceptional care to his patients. If you are interesting in learning more about how to prevent winter mouth issues or his many service offerings, call Dr. Labosky’s office at (814) 237-7004 or visit his website.