As the temperature drops outside, the air here in Colorado becomes extra dry, putting exposed skin at risk of damage. You know using lotion regularly can help prevent cracked skin, but this isn’t the only symptom of cold weather—your efforts to sustain a healthy mouth could also be compromised in the winter. Be aware of cold weather complaints that affect your mouth, and take steps to avoid them.
This symptom of dry winter weather is especially prevalent on Colorado’s ski slopes. If you often head to the mountains for a fun day of skiing, keep in mind that dry wind, cold air, and sunshine create the perfect recipe for chapped lips. Of course, you don’t have to be a skier for the elements to damage the delicate skin around your mouth.
To prevent chapped lips:
- Apply lip balm often. Look for a version with at least 15 SPF to protect your lips from the sun.
- Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body when the air is dry.
- Run a humidifier when you sleep to add moisture to the air.
If your lips are already damaged, lock in moisture and promote faster healing by applying petroleum jelly.
A painful sore inside your mouth is never fun. An increasing number of small but painful ulcerations may occur in the winter as you indulge in acidic apple cider and spicy foods at holiday parties.
To prevent canker sores:
- Be extra careful when chewing since biting your cheek or tongue could make that spot more vulnerable.
- Avoid hot, acidic, or spicy foods, especially if you want to prevent irritating an existing canker sore.
- If your braces are causing canker sores, check with your orthodontist to make sure the wires are fitted properly. Wax can also help protect your cheeks and gums from irritation.
To treat a canker sore, swish with salt water to clean the area and help it heal faster. You can also numb the sore for much-needed pain relief with an over-the-counter benzocaine product.
If you have previously been exposed to the herpes simplex virus, you may develop cold sores with increased frequency in the winter. Cold sores appear on or around the lips, making them visible when your mouth is closed. The extreme weather, harsh winter sun, and increased stress around the holidays are certainly enough to cause a flare-up.
To prevent cold sores:
- Wear SPF 15 or higher lip balm.
- Wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading viral bacteria.
- Aim to keep your stress level down.
To relieve the tingling, itching, and throbbing of a cold sore, use a medicated product designed to treat the outbreak.
Do you experience a surge of pain and sensitivity when you bite into cold food? This sensation may be ever-present when you’re outside during the winter, especially if a stuffy nose forces you to breathe through your mouth.
The best way to prevent this cold-weather problem is to brush with toothpaste designed to alleviate sensitive teeth. After a few weeks of daily use, you should notice an improvement in your sensitivity level when exposed to cold drinks, food, and winter wind.
Maintain a Healthy Mouth All Winter at Evanson DDS
Don’t let cold weather compromise your efforts to maintain a healthy mouth! Follow the tips here, and be sure to visit Dr. Evanson at least once this winter. We can offer more personalized advice for managing your oral health. This way, you can focus on spending quality time with friends and family, not worrying about chapped lips, canker sores, cold sores, or sensitive teeth.
To schedule your next dentist appointment at Evanson DDS, please call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online.Leave a reply →