Tooth sensitivity in adults can usually be attributed to a deterioration of the tooth enamel, an old filling that needs to be replaced or an advanced stage of gum disease, but when your child complains that his tooth hurts it usually means that he has a cavity. Sensitivity to hot or cold is a common symptom of tooth decay. However, there are some other possibilities.
Just as teething can be painful for younger children, the eruption of the permanent teeth can also cause some discomfort. The initial exposure to the air and to the foods and drinks that your child puts into his mouth may take some time getting used to.
Cold symptoms like a runny nose or a cough that last for more than a week or so may indicate a sinus infection. The congestion that comes with a sinus condition can bring about tooth sensitivity. If symptoms persist consult with a pediatric specialist.
A metal filling can actually make a tooth more sensitive to heat or cold. A hot liquid for instance will cause the metal to expand more rapidly than the surrounding tooth enamel. The resulting pressure can cause some discomfort. Consequently, the metal filling will contract when it comes in contact with something cold and the associated stress can also be painful. The longer this contracting and expanding goes on the higher the chance for microfractures, the tiny cracks that can allow hot or cold liquids to break through the enamel and affect the sensitive inner layers of the teeth. A tooth-colored ceramic filling can reduce tooth sensitivity.
It may be that your child is putting too much muscle into brushing his teeth. Vigorous brushing or using a stiff bristled toothbrush can weaken the enamel and irritate tender gum tissue. A pediatric dental hygienist can give her patients some tips about how to brush and floss properly. Parents can benefit too!
Dentist 4 Kidz in Aurora encourages parents to be present during dental procedures. Call 303-367-1502 today to make an appointment at your convenience.