sensitivity to heat only
by LCGC72, Feb 22, 2008
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.
by Jerome Bogin, D.D.S. Blank, Feb 22, 2008
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.
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Member Comments (2)
by lucky3, Feb 22, 2008
get an opinion from an endodontist to be sure.

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?

best of luck.