I am feeling sensitivity to heat only among the teeth on the upper left side of my mouth and have had no sensitivity to cold. Last week I went to the dentist for a check-up (the heat sensitivity started suddenly the night before---not really pain and not long lasting). She was suspicious of a tooth (#13) but couldn't see any problems in new x-rays or as she probed it. When the heat sensitivity continued, I went back yesterday and she found that I had a cracked filling in #15. She removed the old silver filling, put in a temporary filling and told me to come back in two weeks to see if the tooth calmed down. Unfortunately, I am still feeling the heat sensitivity, but it does not appear to be coming from the back of my mouth--more toward the front. Once again, I have had NO sensitivity to cold. I'm worried my dentist is missing something--and treating the wrong tooth.
Usually heat sensitivity is related to a non-vital nerve. Which means that the nerve is dead and root canal therapy is necessary. I would mention to the doctor that the sensitivity is coming from a tooth closer to the front of your mouth.
typically, heat sensitivity over cold sensitivity in a tooth indicates nerve damage and a root canal treatment (rct) would be the treatment in that case.
cold sensitivity could indicate either a temporarily aggravated nerve which may settle over one day to 1 month, or crack which may need a crown and/or rc.
pain worsening after a bite typically indicates a fracture, and these do not always show on x-ray.
although....sometimes even the professional may be in error. or their philosophy may be that rct may be best now, because later, we see patients come back for it anyway.
my story, very short:
i cracked my tooth (molar #15) on grain of sand. my tooth was sensitive to cold and the slightest touch. there was great pain upon biting, with relief after a few seconds.
after six painful months arguing with three dentists/endodontists against rct, i was finally prepped for a gold crown. i agreed to proceed with rct *only* if pain persisted after receiving temporary crown.
at the present time, one year plus later, i have no pain at all - with only a crown!
actually, i've got the same thing happpening on the other side now. :(
bottom line, consult with an endodontist. maybe even two.
remember, you might need some more time to let things heal, although the heat sensitivity may be a concern.
i have heard of "crossed nerves" where pain is reflected to different areas. have you checked with your dentist about this?
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.