Please call us to reschedule

Looks like your typing to cancel your appointment.

Please call for any appointment changes.

Thank you!

ATTENTION: We are having phone trouble in some offices. If you are experiencing problems calling us, please use our online form until this is resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you.

toggle menu

What’s Really Happening When Our Teeth Chatter?

February 14, 2020

Winter is a wonderland of outdoor opportunity. It’s a time for skating and sledding, building snow men and snow forts, and having a good old fashioned snowball fight.

But anybody who enjoys winter activities knows that sometimes it gets a little chilly! And when we get too cold, the most noticeable reaction is our teeth chattering together.

So why do our teeth chatter when we get cold? The short answer is that our facial muscles are shaking in an attempt to get warm, causing our teeth to bang into one another. Your face is shivering!

The two most common temperature regulation tools that the human body uses are sweating and shivering. As you probably know, sweating occurs when the body’s internal temperature goes above the preferred range, and shivering happens when that temperature falls. The skeletal muscles start to shake, or shiver, which expends energy and releases heat. So while shivering indicates that a person is cold, the process itself is intended to warm you up.

Does teeth chattering caused by the cold harm your teeth? “You usually don’t need to worry about teeth chattering caused by the cold. If its cold out and you’re cold, chattering teeth is a sign your body is trying to warm up,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rydell, chief dental officer of Midwest Dental. “It happens so infrequently, it is unlikely to affect your teeth. If the chattering is not caused by cold and you suspect there’s something else going on, it’s always a good idea to schedule a visit with your doctor.”

 

Now that you know all about shivering, here are a few more fun winter facts you can bring up when people are talking about the weather:

-Every winter, at least one septillion (that’s 1 followed by 24 zeros) snow crystals fall from the sky.

-The average snowflake falls at about 3 mph.

-Around 12% of Earth’s land surface is covered in snow and ice.

-The coldest temperature ever recorded was -123° C at Vostok Station in Antarctica in 1983.

We may not reach temperatures quite like that, but this season definitely gives us the shivers. So the next time your teeth start chattering, just remember you’re warming up! 🙂