So you noticed it felt uncomfortable when you drank something hot. You were surprised because you’ve never experienced this sensation before, although you might’ve heard about it. You went on with your life but began noticing that every time you drank something hot, you experienced pain that worsened over time.
What’s the issue? And how can it be treated? In truth, many problems can lead to pain when drinking something hot. And at Downtown Dental Studios, we want to help you get to the bottom of it.
Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD — our providers — understand the number of issues that can cause oral sensitivity to hot drinks, and we not only want to help you solve the problem but also ensure it doesn’t return.
People often discuss the issue of oral sensitivity to both hot and cold foods and drinks, but many times, we see people who are particularly sensitive to cold drinks. This might be because of the time of year (when cold drinks are more popular), but it could also be because of the drinks you like to consume.
Either way, sensitivity to hot or cold usually means a similar problem. The crucial thing to recognize is how long the sensitivity — and pain — lasts. Pain that is momentary, such as occurring when the hot drink touches your mouth and then calms down quickly, is usually a sign of a minor problem, something that can be treated with a session or even a new toothpaste.
But if you notice that the pain lingers, perhaps as long as 30 seconds, after you’ve removed the source of the heat, this is likely associated with a more severe problem. So, first thing’s first, ask yourself this: how much does it hurt and for how long?
As previously stated, there are many reasons why you may be feeling sensitive to heat. Consider some of the problems listed below, and if your oral pain continues, make an appointment at your earliest convenience.
Cavities probably need no introduction, as they’re one of the most common dental issues. 90 percent of Americans 20 and older have had at least one cavity. A cavity requires a dental visit where you will need to get a filling, and after that, the pain should cease.
If you already have a filling on the tooth that is sensitive to hot drinks, you’re likely dealing with a loose filling that may be leaving the tooth root exposed to your beverage. This is a common problem and easily fixable by visiting your dentist. In the meantime, you can use ice packs against your cheek to numb the pain.
If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to tooth decay, which is a severe condition where bacteria have compromised the integrity of the tooth. This is usually a problem that causes severe pain, so if you notice extreme discomfort that lasts for 30 seconds or more after drinking a hot drink, you’re likely dealing with tooth decay. For this, you will need treatment as soon as possible.
Not all of these issues are tooth-related, however. It’s possible to experience discomfort when drinking hot drinks if you have periodontal disease. For example, the gums will begin to recede, causing sensitivity and pain along the gum line when new temperatures are introduced. Try paying attention to how long your pain lasts and where it’s located to determine if this could be the root cause.
Seeking help for an ongoing issue like experiencing pain whenever you drink hot drinks is essential for good oral care. Whether the problem is mild or more severe, getting help early and visiting your dentist often are the best ways to ensure you can keep your mouth healthy.
Want to visit our Financial District office in New York City? Just call us at 212-964-3337 or make an appointment online.