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Learn How Hot And Cold Beverages Can Affect Your Teeth

Posted: Dec, 15, 2023

Who doesn't love having a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee or tea in the morning? Or maybe you like to cool down during the summer by drinking an iced beverage. While these beverages can be refreshing, they may also affect the health of your teeth and increase the risk of tooth sensitivity. Let's discuss some of the common effects of hot and cold beverages on oral health and what can be done to avoid them. 

Tooth Sensitivity

If you take a sip of an iced latte and suddenly feel a sharp tingling sensation in your teeth, it can be an indication of sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is a fairly common dental issue that is characterized by sudden pain or discomfort when your teeth are exposed to extreme temperatures.

Our teeth have a strong, protective outer layer called enamel. The layer that lies beneath the enamel is known as dentin. It contains tiny tubules that can transmit temperature changes to the tooth's nerve center. 

When you frequently consume hot or cold beverages, the tooth enamel erodes over time, exposing the sensitive dentin. As a result, you may experience intense pain or discomfort upon consuming foods or drinks at extreme temperatures. 

Enamel Erosion

Drinking a cup of hot coffee, cocoa, or tea can be comforting, but it may negatively impact your teeth. Regular consumption of hot drinks can weaken the enamel structure, making it more vulnerable to sensitivity and decay. 

Furthermore, many of these drinks are acidic, particularly coffee. Frequent exposure to these acids may cause enamel erosion over the passage of time. Your tooth enamel can also absorb pigments from these drinks, leading to tooth staining and discoloration. 

Cracks Within Enamel

Our teeth are living structures, and they respond to extreme temperature fluctuations. When you drink something hot, the tooth enamel expands. In contrast, if you drink something cold, the enamel shrinks to a certain extent. 

These rapid changes caused by exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures may result in the formation of minor cracks within the tooth enamel. These cracks may propagate over the years, weakening the enamel structure. This increases the risk of tooth decay, discoloration, and fractures. 

Tips To Prevent Tooth Sensitivity And Other Dental Issues

If you want to protect your teeth from the harsh effects of hot and cold beverages, try following these helpful tips:

  • Limit the intake of extremely hot or cold beverages. You do not have to stop drinking your favorite beverages but try to consume them in moderation. 
  • Use a straw to drink your favorite hot or cold beverages. It reduces the contact between the drink and your teeth, hence lowering the risk of tooth sensitivity or enamel erosion. 
  • After drinking a cup of tea or coffee, take a minute to rinse your mouth. This helps to flush away any acids or sugars that may damage your teeth. 
  • Schedule regular dental visits and cleanings to optimize the health of your teeth. With professional help, you can prevent many common dental issues and maintain a radiant, healthy smile. 

Takeaway

A cup of tea or coffee can be a comforting part of your routine, but keep an eye out for their effects on your teeth and oral health. If you struggle with tooth sensitivity or any other dental issue, consult our specialists at Riverside Family Dental for the best care solutions. Give us a call at (586) 468-0983 to schedule an appointment.

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At Riverside Family Dental, our mission is to help residents of Clinton Township, Mount Clemens, Chesterfield, Harrison Township, and Roosevelt attain their ideal smiles. We do this with a gentle touch and a friendly, patient-centered approach to dentistry. Our team of dentist in Clinton Township, MI, is dedicated to not only meeting your dental needs but also going above and beyond to surpass your expectations. Your dream smile is our goal.
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