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cavity? root canal? super scared



Junior member
Feb 19, 2021
Hi everyone! Since yesterday I’ve noticed one of my teeth feels extremely painful when exposed to hot drinks/food. It feels a little sensitive to cold, but mostly heat.

I’ve been trying to be more proactive about my dental health so I called and made an appointment for this Saturday.

I know that ultimately the fact I’m getting it looked at soon is a good thing. And it’s probably not super serious (as in extraction or like..... death level) as I last had a checkup 2 months ago and they didn’t find anything other than some mild gum recession. But I’m just really anxious about it!! I know the dentists at this practice are very friendly, and they are good at easing my anxiety but I’m just very scared about it regardless. ):

does heat sensitivity always mean a root canal is needed?

Despite my depression and ADHD getting in the way of my dental hygiene sometimes, I’ve been fortunate to never get a cavity or infection before... so I really don’t know what to expect.

Im anxious about the cost too.... if just a filling or something like that is needed then I can afford it; otherwise I’ll have to ask my parents for help (I’m a 21y.o student). I know they’d be happy to help me with the costs, but it makes me feel guilty so I really hope it’s something I can handle on my own.

It’s come at the worst time too! I’m in my last semester of university and I’m working on my final pieces of coursework..... I really need all the time I can get, I don’t want my grades to suffer.

Not sure why I’m making this post, I guess I just need someone to tell me that the world isn’t ending and everything is gonna be okay in the long run. I’ve spent some time browsing this forum and I know that there are loads of people in far worse situations than me who end up just fine! But I can’t help but feel really worried about everything.

thanks for reading:^)
Hi there.

Well done for being more proactive in your dental treatment and regularly seeking help, especially sooner when you find a problem than later. I want t say it will be okay! You will get through it and as you say it doesn’t sound too serious a problem, but, don’t make you feel your anxiety about it is any less valid.

It’s always the way it happens around busy times. I too had lots of dental work when at uni and understand the guilt around cost and relying on parents. Can I ask are you UK based as financial side of dentistry varies significantly by country.

Sorry to hear you are anxious. Like most of us here it makes it hard to go.
In relation to heat sensitivity and I’m not a dentist or dentist professional so I maybe wrong, but, I believed from experience it is a complete lack of sesnstivity to stimuli like cold or heat that indicates the nerve is unsavable hence the root canal ? (any dentist please correct me if I’m wrong!)

I have had both filling and a route canal so here to help if I can
Hi, I'm not a dentist either but heat sensitivity that doesn't linger (say, for longer than 30 seconds or so after the source of heat is removed) is highly unlikely to be anything serious. Have you tried rubbing a toothpaste for sensitive teeth directly onto the affected area? We've got some tips on this page:

Let us know how you get on on Saturday! best of luck