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Whit asked in HealthDental · 1 decade ago

Why do your teeth chatter when you get cold?

This may sound crazy, but i have always wondered why your teeth chatter when you get cold.......nice answers only plz=)

9 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's a natural body reaction where successive muscle contraction of the jaw (and other muscled areas) to produce body heat and counter low environmental temps.

    Source(s): Zoology Grad
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  • 1 decade ago

    Why do our teeth chatter, and do any other animals chatter their teeth?

    Teeth chattering is just a symptom of shivering. Endotherms (that's you, me, other mammals, birds, and some insects) produce heat within the body. They use thermoregulation to keep their bodies at a constant temperature. You can thermoregulate physiologically and behaviourally. Shivering is a physiological response to cold, it's coming from inside. Putting on a jacket because you're cold is a behavioural response.

    Let's say you're cold and you won't put on a jacket, or do a lap around the block to keep warm. Your brain tells your body what it needs to do. The brain -- the hypothalamus, to be specific -- monitors your temperature. Get too cold and and the hypothalamus sends nerve impulses to the skin and you get goose bumps. The goose bumps are caused by teeny muscles attached to the base of your hair follicles. Since humans lack a tonne of body hair, the goose bumps do little to make us warmer. But for furry animals those little muscles create better insulation. The muscles raise the hairs and the hairs trap air next to the skin. Because air is an insulator, this air next to the skin acts like a blanket to keep an animal warm.

    Let's go back to you. You're cold and you're just not furry enough to use air as a blanket. Your muscles get a signal to start contracting -- that's the shivering and teeth chattering. The by-product of the muscle contractions is heat.

    Are you wondering about furry animals and the cold? A furry animal can get cold -- just watch a Greyhound or Whippet being walked in Toronto in winter! How much fur or fat a creature has helps determine at what temperature it gets cold. That's why seals, in general, are not bothered by the cold ocean, they've got thick layers of insulation in the form of blubber and fur.

    Now just for fun, picture a polar bear and a mouse side-by-side in your room. The mouse is quite comfortable. But turn off the heat and it will shiver, or start running around like crazy to produce heat. At room temperature, the polar bear is panting and staying still. It's hot! If you turn up the air conditioning and haul in some ice blocks, the bear will thank you.

    Thermoregulation...you can count on it!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Teeth chattering is just a symptom of shivering. Endotherms produce heat within the body. They use thermoregulation to keep their bodies at a constant temperature. Shivering is a physiological response to cold, it is coming from inside.

    Human beings are homoeothermic animals, that is, body temperature is maintained constantly (always 36.8C or 98.4F) irrespective of the environmental temperature.

    This thermo-balance mechanism is controlled by the hypothalamus (heat regulating centre) situated in the cerebrum of the brain.

    Get too cold and the hypothalamus sends nerve impulses to the skin and we get goose bumps. Tiny muscles attached to the base of our hair follicles cause the goose bumps.

    Since humans lack a large amount of body hair, the goose bumps do little to make us warmer. We are cold and we are just not furry enough to use air as a blanket.

    Our muscles get a signal to start contracting — that's the shivering and teeth chattering. The by-product of the muscle contractions is heat.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm a dentist.

    It's not your teeth that are "chattering". It's your body's thermostat (located in the hypothalamus) trying to warm the body. One of the ways the body warms itself is by increasing muscle activity (including the activity of your masticator muscles).

    Basically, teeth chattering is caused by your jaw muscles shivering.

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  • Arnoux
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Teeth chattering is a localized manifestation of shivering

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  • Nina
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Nerves and lover of warm conditions ...You are not use to the cold and the body shivers to keep body temp up

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  • 1 decade ago

    it's more of a muscle reflex. The muscles get too cold and begin to flex and contract at a rapid rate..... Yeah, I would have to say that that make sense to me.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i am wondering about this too but i think the answer is that they are sensors of coldness in different parts and coz teeth have nerons so they can have some sensors and this is that answer!

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  • Dashes
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    its an involuntery reaction. your body is shivering, along with your jaw, to try to warm itself.

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