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Can children have sensitive teeth?

Children can have sensitive teeth. Teeth may be sensitive from cavities, broken teeth, cracked teeth, or fillings that may have come out. Baby or primary teeth can also become sore when they are loosening up prior to losing them. If your child has sensitive teeth, you should make an appointment with the dentist. 

Children can suffer from sensitive teeth. Usually it is their baby teeth that can become sensitive. If your child complains about sensitive teeth or you suspect your child has sensitive teeth, talk to the dentist. He or she can look into why your child is experiencing sensitivity and devise a treatment plan.

Yes they can, particularly when a tooth or teeth are decayed. A cavity can make a tooth sensitive to cold, hot, or sweets. Large cavities may also produce sensitivity/discomfort to biting pressure. Sensitivity to cold or hot can also occur when a tooth has recently had a silver amalgam filling placed because the metal filling is a good conductor of cold and heat. If the bite is too high on any type of filling, this can cause sensitivity as well. Children may also experience “sensitivity” from permanent teeth that are pushing their way into the mouth during the eruption process. Eruption can cause temporary tenderness in the gums and can push the overlying baby tooth into an unfavorable biting position. In any event, a child who is consistently complaining of tooth sensitivity should be examined by a dentist to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
Children can have sensitive teeth. They should be seen and evaluated by a dentist if they are complaining of dental pain as it may be due to cavities or infection.
Yes, but it's often not the same type of sensitivity that adults experience. Children rarely have the more sensitive root of the tooth exposed. When children have sensitivity, there is usually a definite cause for it. Some possible explanations are: teeth erupting (coming in to the mouth), tooth decay, a cracked tooth or filling, an abscess (localized infection), or as the result of an accident. If your child has had recent dental treatment such as a filling, the bite might be high, causing the sensitivity or it could be a short-term reaction to the filling material conducting temperature at a different rate than the tooth does.

If your child is complaining of tooth sensitivity, a visit to the dentist as soon as possible is the best course of action.

Kids commonly suffer from sensitive teeth, unlike adults though; their causes are usually quite different. Children can experience pain responses much like adults in their "baby" (deciduous) teeth. The most common cause for their sensitivity is either a cavity or the eruption of a permanent tooth though. If you have a child that's experiencing sensitive symptoms, ask your Dentist to evaluate them, it could save the kid a lot of potential grief.

Marvin D. Berman, MD
Gastroenterology

Children can certainly experience sensitivity in their primary (baby) as well as their permanent (secondary) teeth. Sensitivity to hot or cold that occurs occasionally may not be significant. But recurring and/or prolonged sensitivity to temperature change, to sweets, to touch, etc. signals the need for a visit to the dentist at the earliest convenience.

Children are unlikely to have the kind of tooth sensitivity, known as dentin hypersensitivity, that is a result of gum recession and exposed roots, as these are typically caused by excessive and improper tooth brushing, or by gum disease (periodontitis) which are generally conditions beginning in adolescence and progressing through adulthood. Children are, however, at risk for cavities, a major cause of tooth sensitivity. A child may also develop sensitivity after a tooth cracks or breaks; teeth may crack or break due to biting on ice or hard candy, sports injuries, and tooth grinding. If your child has tooth sensitivity, you should let his or her dentist know so that any dental conditions can be ruled out or treated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.