November 5, 2020
The weather is getting colder and the holiday season is commencing. While this means getting together with family, festive music, and delicious meals, this time of year can also wreak havoc on your smile. That’s right – there are quite a few problems that many people face during the holiday season. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to prevent these winter mouth issues from occurring and get some relief.
When the weather gets chillier, many people are unlucky enough to catch a cold or the flu for a week or two. A common symptom people experience is a stuffy nose. While this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, it causes you to breathe through your mouth more frequently and subsequently, you end up dealing with dry mouth. To prevent this from happening, remember to watch your caffeine intake, drink plenty of water, and try to chew on some sugarless gum in order to increase your saliva production.
Have you ever wondered why you end up with more canker sores in the winter? This is simply because more treats come around that are high in sugar and acid. When you have too many holiday sweets, you are likely to develop those annoying canker sores in the mouth. To prevent these, go easy on the cider, baked goods, spicy dinners, and holiday candy. If you already have a canker sore or two, try to rinse your mouth with a combination of a half cup of warm water and a teaspoon of salt. This will help them heal more quickly.
The thin skin on your lips is incredibly delicate. In the winter when they are exposed to cold air, wind, and the sun’s UVB rays, they become damaged and you end up with dry, chapped lips. Remember to use a lip balm that contains at least SPF 15 and stay hydrated throughout the day. You could also try putting a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep in order to put more moisture in the air. If your lips are already chapped, try using petroleum jelly in order to lock in the moisture.
A lot of patients encounter tooth sensitivity more in the winter. This is usually because they are breathing in more cold are and triggering that pain caused by extreme temperature. To prevent this, breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. Use a fluoridated toothpaste that is made especially for people who have sensitive teeth. This may help to lessen this unpleasant sensation.
Winter mouth issues are frustrating, but by using the tips above and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups, you will be able to get through the holiday season free of oral health problems.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Holland is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for three decades! He studied at the prestigious University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. For more ways to keep your smile healthy this winter or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (210) 804-1558.