Childhood Oral Diseases To Keep An Eye Out For In The Winter



Taking care of your child’s oral health is important, and with winter fast approaching, keeping your child’s mouth in tip-top shape is going to be even more important. The biting cold and high winds can lead to a variety of dental issues that crop up during the winter months.

Woodbridge Kids Dentistry is a trusted children’s dentist in Vaughan. Our dentists have years of specialty training and provide laser dental care treatments in the York region. We are committed to promoting good oral hygiene all year round and supporting your child in their formative stages of development to predict and offset potential dental problems.

Let’s examine a few winter-related oral dental issues to watch out for.

Cold Sores

These nasty little blisters that form around your lips can have any number of causes, including-you guessed it-being exposed to cold weather. They usually cause pain, itching or burning and can burst and crust over. Symptoms of cold sores can include:

  • Lesions, blisters, or ulcers on the tongue or around the mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Pain in the mouth or on the tongue
  • Dehydration
  • Lip swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen glands
  • High body temperature

These sores can be prevented in the winter by keeping your child’s lips moisturized via chapstick, making sure your child practices frequent hand-washing and avoids touching their mouth unless hands are clean to avoid spreading bacteria. 

Dry Mouth & Chapped Lips 

These two conditions go hand in hand as they are both related to the drying of body parts. The combination of less moisture in the air along with said air being much colder can lead to drier lips and mouths, along with a decrease in saliva production, which can make the problems worse.

Thankfully, these issues are pretty easy to combat! Make sure to drink plenty of water, use chapstick and petroleum jelly to soothe dry lips and wear face protection outdoors. Plus, drinking water has another benefit for your mouth: it contains fluoride, which helps keep teeth healthy and prevent cavities!

Gum Infections

We all get sick in the winter, and kids are no exception. Common illnesses such as the cold and flu can leave children’s immune systems depleted, meaning they are open to further infections, including those that affect gums. In order to prevent potential infections, it’s important to keep up oral hygiene routines throughout the winter, including brushing, flossing and rinsing with saltwater. 

Prevention is always better than cure. Bring your child to Woodbridge! We will develop a custom oral healthcare plan to combat gum disease and tooth decay before these conditions manifest.

Tooth Sensitivity

There’s nothing like a cup of steaming tea or hot chocolate after coming in from the cold, but the combination of cold temperatures and hot drinks can cause discomfort to teeth. Teeth expand and contract in response to cold weather and can crack, exposing the vulnerable area underneath the enamel layer. This area is covered in nerves and this is why we feel pain here. There are many things that can cause this area to become exposed, including periodontal disease, acidic beverages, brushing too hard and grinding teeth.

If your child is experiencing tooth sensitivity, it’s best to consult a trusted dentist, who will point you to a number of effective treatments such as:

Fluoride: This can help strengthen the enamel and prevents sensitivity to exposed areas.

Sealant: A dentist can apply a sealant to cover the sensitive areas.

Toothpaste: A dentist may recommend a special toothpaste for tooth sensitivity that will address the issue. 

Canker Sores

Canker sores are small lesions that develop in the mouth or along the gumline. They can be quite painful and make things like eating and talking difficult. They usually appear as rounded or oval in shape and can be white or yellow with a small red border. Medical professionals are unclear on the exact cause of canker sores but they can be attributed to many things including: food sensitivities to spicy or acidic foods, allergies,  emotional stress, nutrient deficiencies and hormone shifts.

Seeing a doctor isn’t necessary to treat canker sores, as they usually go away on their own. However, some helpful treatments include: 

  • Eat soft foods that won’t irritate the sore, or break up larger foods into smaller pieces
  • Avoid “irritant” food and drinks, which can include coffee, citrus, nuts, chocolate, etc
  • Take a pain reliever if the pain is too much

Here at Woodbridge Kids Dentistry, we strongly advocate preventative dental care for your child. Our experienced team of dental professionals will assess your child’s oral health and provide the best possible treatment to address any issues before they arise. Don’t wait until your child is in pain-schedule an appointment with us today!  

Please note: This article is intended only to provide general knowledge about oral health and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner about the treatment of medical conditions.