What does it mean if my child’s teeth are sensitive to hot or cold?

Unfortunately, children can suffer from sensitive teeth just like their parents can. Often, this sensitivity occurs in response to temperature changes. Many of the causes of tooth sensitivity are the same in children and adults, while some are unique to developmental stages. A children’s dentist can examine your child’s teeth to determine which of the following factors may be involved.

Cavities: Tooth decay can make a child’s tooth quite sensitive, especially in the case of large caries that reach the inner portion of the tooth. In fact, this may be the most common cause of tooth sensitivity in children.

Damage to the teeth: A tooth that has a deep crack or chip can cause sensitivity in the teeth. This can occur as the result of an injury or from bruxism (grinding of the teeth).

Improper brushing: Generally, it takes years for overly aggressive brushing techniques to lead to tooth sensitivity, so this is an uncommon cause of tooth sensitivity in children. Yet it still can happen, especially when a child is wearing braces, which require an adjustment to brushing technique. Your children’s dentist can demonstrate proper brushing technique.

Eruption of new teeth: When new teeth are exposed to the oral cavity, they can become sensitive. Additionally, the process of erupting through the gums can cause some discomfort for children, and it may be difficult for the child to differentiate between gum pain and tooth sensitivity.

After pinpointing the specific concern that is causing the sensitivity, the children’s dentist can provide an appropriate treatment to address that problem. For example, a cavity can be filled to eliminate exposure of the tooth’s inner layers.

As a result of the treatment, the child is likely to get some relief from the sensitivity.

Children who are suffering from tooth sensitivity should be seen by a dentist for a diagnosis and treatment of the underlying problem. If your child has complained of this problem, contact one of our convenient offices to schedule an appointment.

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