Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Does tooth pain mean I have a cavity?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes tooth pain mean I have a cavity?


My tooth hurts when I drink cold foods. Is this a reason to see a dentist?


The best person with whom to discuss questions about your dental health is in fact a dentist. In general, it is recommended that you see a dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and exams. This can help make sure that your teeth stay healthy and you don't develop problems like cavities or gum disease. Tooth pain can be caused by many different things. It is possible that pain with cold is related to a cavity, but there are also many other things that can cause this condition. Some people are very sensitive with hot or cold beverages, and they may not necessarily have a cavity requiring dental intervention. In addition, it is possible for cracks to develop in a tooth over time, and exposure to cold food can also be very painful in this setting. If this is the case, a more extensive dental procedure such as a crown or root canal might be warranted. Then it is also possible that a simple cavity may manifest itself with cold intolerance. In this case a filling might be required to treat the problem. Overall, there are many different reasons why you might be experiencing tooth pain, and the best way to determine why (and what needs to be done) is to see a dentist.

Need more info?

See a dentist today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.