Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and liquids? Feeling a sharp pain in your tooth when biting down on food? Tooth pain is your mouth’s protective response to let you know that your tooth is not functioning as it should. It ranges from minor sensitivity to sharp, severe pain.
Beneath the enamel of your tooth is a softer layer called dentin. Below the dentin is pulp: a soft tissue that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. Untreated tooth decay, or cracks and chips in your teeth, can cause tooth pulp to get irritated, inflamed, or infected. Trauma to your face can cause pulp damage even if your teeth don’t show any visible chips or cracks.
Teeth can crack for a variety of reasons including large fillings, teeth grinding, trauma to your face as a result of a fall, accident, or sports injury, biting down on hard substances like ice and hard candy, and the natural aging process.
Once the damage has progressed to the sensitive nerves found in the pulp, an abscess (pocket of infected pus) can develop. That’s when a root canal may be required to save a badly infected tooth. During your dental checkup, a thorough examination of your teeth is performed for anomalies like tooth decay (cavities), cracks and chips in your teeth, and loose fillings that may not be visible to the naked eye.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, pain when chewing, or swelling and tenderness near the source of your pain, including your cheek and surrounding gum tissue, don’t ignore it! Not only will it not go away on its own, but it will likely worsen over time. The sooner your tooth pain is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome. Make sure to mention any pain to your dentist, and schedule an appointment to get it checked out.
Give us a call today at 509-489-8863 if you are experiencing any major tooth sensitivity!