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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Temperature Sensitivity

05/12/2010

Question:

I am experiencing strong, continuous, and painful temperature sensitivity in one area of my mouth. This sensitivity developed only during the past few weeks. I am trying hard to understand both the possible causes of this pain and how to get rid of it

The sensitivity is in an area which had a root canal three months ago. (Other teeth in that area have also had root canals, witohut problems.) The x-ray of the tooth looks good, with no sign of infection. Dental exam also indicates no abcess or infection. Amoxicillin and steroids (decadron) have not been effective.

The tooth is sensitive primarily to hot (or even lukewarm) liquids, not to cold or to biting; I can chew in that area without pain.

The endodontist could not find a specific reason for the pain, nor could two other dentists I have consulted.

So even though I know you cannot diagnose from a distance, my question is whether you might know of other possible causes and best courses of action for this pain. Thanks very much.

Answer:

Most likely explanation is that another tooth (other than the root canal tooth) close by is probably causing the sensitivity.  Possibly your local dentist could test all teeth in the area with cold (pulp tests).  If it is an upper back tooth, your sinuses might be a contributing factor.  You might try a desensitizing tooth paste (Sensodyne, Denquel, Crest Sensitive) for two weeks.

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Response by:

David Lee Hall, DDS David Lee Hall, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University