Why is Tooth Sensitive to Heat?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 24, 2011

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Having a toothacheVery often people experience pain or a tingling sensation while drinking hot beverages. This is because of a condition known as sensitivity of tooth towards heat. The inner nerves of the teeth are protected by a hardened structure known as enamel. In case, this hardened mass gets weakened due to some reason, the inner nerves of the teeth become exposed resulting in sensitivity towards heat. The sensitiveness may be localised in a single tooth or may occur in all teeth. There are several factors that turn tooth sensitive to heat.

According to Dr Gaurangi, Consultant Periodontist, “Extreme temperature changes within the exposed dental nerves cause quick inflow and outflow of the fluids producing the tingling sensation in the teeth. Toothpastes in such cases cannot be of much help. Maintaining dental health is essential to protect the tooth enamel from wearing off, preventing sensitivity of tooth towards heat and increasing its longevity.”


Why is Tooth Sensitive to Heat?


The reasons for the tooth sensitive to heat may be varied some of which are described below:

  • Faulty brushing technique is the root cause of wearing off of the teeth enamel making it sensitive towards heat. Tooth brushes with hard bristles act as abrasives gradually eroding the tooth enamel. Always use a tooth brush with soft bristles and change your brush immediately after the bristles turn hard after prolonged use.
  • Excessive tooth polishing causes decay in the tooth enamel making it sensitive towards heat.
  • Sour foods with high acid levels can also cause tooth decay. Carbonated drinks are the worst enemies for tooth enamel leading to sensitivity of tooth towards heat.
  • Gum diseases also cause sensitivity of tooth towards heat. If the gum fails to cover the teeth properly, the covering of the roots of the teeth called dentin get exposed making them sensitive to heat.
  • Leak in tooth fillings is another also causes sensitivity of tooth towards heat. The dentin of the tooth comes in contact with the hot fluid causing a tingling sensation.
  • Dental caries result in the formation of cavities in the teeth exposing the nerves of the teeth and making them sensitive towards heat.
  • Scaling of teeth may cause some sensitivity but that gradually subsides within a few days.


Proper dental care and check-ups can prevent weakening of the enamel; the prime cause for the sensitivity of teeth. Using the right kind of toothbrush and toothpaste and maintaining absolute oral hygiene will keep in keeping your tooth enamel intact.


Read more articles on Tooth Decay.



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