When taking a bite of a warm piece of pizza or other hot food, you wince from tooth pain. This sensitivity to warmth may last for some time and can indicate the presence of a serious dental condition. Knowing when to seek medical treatment is important to ensuring your continued dental health.
Your teeth consist of several layers, according to Simple Steps Dental, a dental care website reviewed by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. An outer coating of enamel protects the middle portion or your tooth, known as the dentin. The dentin consists of small openings that cover tooth pulp — where the nerves are. If your enamel has worn down, you may be more sensitive to temperatures, including warmth and cold.
- Your teeth consist of several layers, according to Simple Steps Dental, a dental care website reviewed by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
- An outer coating of enamel protects the middle portion or your tooth, known as the dentin.
Tooth Pain After Eating
Experiencing tooth pain when eating warm foods can be the result of several factors that have resulted in the breakdown of your tooth enamel. These include taking poor care of your teeth, having untreated cavities, brushing too hard, having receding gums or developing a crack in a filling, according to Simple Steps Dental. Enamel wearing down also can be the result of aging that causes your tooth enamel to wear down over time.
Heat-sensitive teeth often begin as cold-sensitive teeth, according to My New Smile, a dentist-written educational website 1. Teeth progress by sensitivity as dental decay occurs. If left untreated, your decay can progress to become heat sensitivity that causes pain when you eat warm foods. At this time, you may find that cold things, such as ice water, relieve pain. Sensitivity to warmth can indicate a serious level of decay. If you experience this, seek medical treatment immediately.
- Heat-sensitive teeth often begin as cold-sensitive teeth, according to My New Smile, a dentist-written educational website 1.
- If left untreated, your decay can progress to become heat sensitivity that causes pain when you eat warm foods.
Is There a Home Remedy for Teeth Tingling?
Two types of heat sensitivity related to tooth pain exist, according to Dr. Virginia P. Humphrey, a Palo Alto, California-based dentist writing on her website 2. Reverse pulpitis causes short bursts of pain as a reaction to heat and is caused by cavity or injury. Pulp necrosis is a throbbing pain that lasts for several minutes after heat exposure. This pain indicates that nerve tissue has died and an infection has formed in its place.
- Two types of heat sensitivity related to tooth pain exist, according to Dr. Virginia P. Humphrey, a Palo Alto, California-based dentist writing on her website 2.
- Reverse pulpitis causes short bursts of pain as a reaction to heat and is caused by cavity or injury.
Treating your warmth-sensitive teeth depends upon the severity of the pain and cause of damage, according to the American Dental Association. If the damage is minimal, your physician may prescribe a densensitizing toothpaste to reduce nerve pain transmissions. Fluoride gel can be applied in your dentist’s office to strengthen tooth enamel or a tooth sealant to treat receding gums may be used. If the damage to the nerve roots is to severe, your physician may recommend a root canal, which removes diseased nerve pulp to reduce these nerve sensations.
- Treating your warmth-sensitive teeth depends upon the severity of the pain and cause of damage, according to the American Dental Association.
- If the damage is minimal, your physician may prescribe a densensitizing toothpaste to reduce nerve pain transmissions.
Tooth Pain After Eating
Is There a Home Remedy for Teeth Tingling?
A Toothache in the Tooth With a Crown
Causes of Pain in a Filled Tooth
Dental Bridge Complications
Tooth Pain and Throbbing
Toothache From Pulpitis
How to Fix a Chipped Tooth Without Going to the Dentist
Relief From Wisdom Tooth Pain
How to Fix Rotten Teeth
- Mynewsmile: Why Is a Tooth Sensitive to Heat?
- Dr. Virginia Humphrey: Dental Disease Process
- Fukuda KI. Diagnosis and treatment of abnormal dental pain. J Dent Anesth Pain Med. 2016;16(1):1-8. doi:10.17245/jdapm.2016.16.1.1
- Pihlstrom BL, Michalowicz BS, Johnson NW. Periodontal diseases. Lancet. 2005;366(9499):1809-20. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67728-8
- Heng C. Tooth Decay Is the Most Prevalent Disease. Fed Pract. 2016;33(10):31-33.
- Tonguc MO, Ozat Y, Sert T, Sonmez Y, Kirzioglu FY. Tooth sensitivity in fluorotic teeth. Eur J Dent. 2011;5(3):273-80.
- Yap AU, Chua AP. Sleep bruxism: Current knowledge and contemporary management. J Conserv Dent. 2016;19(5):383-9. doi:10.4103/0972-0707.190007
- Rechenberg DK, Galicia JC, Peters OA. Biological Markers for Pulpal Inflammation: A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE. 2016;11(11):e0167289. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167289
- Lubisich EB, Hilton TJ, Ferracane J. Cracked teeth: a review of the literature. J Esthet Restor Dent. 2010;22(3):158-67. doi:10.1111/j.1708-8240.2010.00330.x
- Shweta, Prakash SK. Dental abscess: A microbiological review. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2013;10(5):585-91.
- Santosh P. Impacted Mandibular Third Molars: Review of Literature and a Proposal of a Combined Clinical and Radiological Classification. Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2015;5(4):229-34. doi:10.4103/2141-9248.160177
- Candamourty R, Venkatachalam S, Babu MR, Kumar GS. Ludwig's Angina - An emergency: A case report with literature review. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2012;3(2):206-8. doi:10.4103/0976-9668.101932
- Yeo GS, Kim HY, Kwak EJ, Jung YS, Park HS, Jung HD. Cavernous sinus thrombosis caused by a dental infection: a case report. J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014;40(4):195-8. doi:10.5125/jkaoms.2014.40.4.195
- Jacobsen PL, Casagrande AM. Sinusitis as a source of dental pain. Dent Today. 2003;22(9):110-3.
- Murphy MK, Macbarb RF, Wong ME, Athanasiou KA. Temporomandibular disorders: a review of etiology, clinical management, and tissue engineering strategies. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2013;28(6):e393-414. doi:10.11607/jomi.te20
- Becker DE. Pain management: Part 1: Managing acute and postoperative dental pain. Anesth Prog. 2010;57(2):67-78. doi:10.2344/0003-3006-57.2.67
- Guaita M, Högl B. Current Treatments of Bruxism. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2016;18(2):10. doi:10.1007/s11940-016-0396-3
- Lee Y. Diagnosis and Prevention Strategies for Dental Caries. J Lifestyle Med. 2013;3(2):107-9.
- Kaptan RF, Haznedaroglu F, Basturk FB, Kayahan MB. Treatment approaches and antibiotic use for emergency dental treatment in Turkey. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2013;9:443-9. doi:10.2147/TCRM.S52009
- American Association of Endodontists. (n.d.). Cracked Teeth. https://www.aae.org/patients/dental-symptoms/cracked-teeth/
- American Dental Association. (n.d.). Abscess (Toothache). https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/abscess
- Chow AW. (2018). Submandibular space infections (Ludwig's angina). In: UpToDate, Calderwood SB (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA.
- Hennessy BJ. (2018). Merck Manual Professional Version: Toothache and Infection. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental-disorders/symptoms-of-dental-and-oral-disorders/toothache-and-infection?query=dental%20abscess
- Schweitzer JL. The Endodontic Diagnostic Puzzle. Gen Dent. 2009;57(6):560-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19906608
- Ubertalli JT. Merck Manual. Professional Version. (2018). Pulpitis. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dental-disorders/common-dental-disorders/pulpitis?_ga=2.233168734.1798272777.1553437191-365578483.1553437191
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.