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What is a "hot tooth"?

No, it's not an insanely good looking tooth.

What is a hot tooth?

The term “hot tooth” isn’t a technical dental term. It’s more of a simplified descriptor. This term describes patients with a painful tooth that is difficult to numb.

Why is it so painful?

A tooth infection irritates the nerve fibres in and around the tooth. Any stimulation of these fibres registers as pain in the brain. This irritation is worsened by hot or cold foods, and sometimes pressure. In severe cases, the pain is spontaneous.

Why is it the tooth not getting numb?

A tooth infection creates an acidic environment around the tissues, but anaesthetics work best low acidity environments. Anaesthetics undergoes a chemical change in a less acidic environment, which allows them to numb your teeth.

The dentist may need to use a more potent anaesthetic or one that contains more epinephrine to numb a “hot tooth”. Other forms of anaesthesia like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may be needed for total patient comfort.

How can I prevent it?

Most “hot tooth” infections start as cavities. Maintaining oral hygiene, going to dental appointments, and getting fillings as recommended is key to preventing many of these infections.

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