You may not notice that you have a tender or sensitive tooth in your mouth all the time, or the pain and discomfort may be so minor you can eradicate it with an over-the-counter medication. Rather than ignore your tender tooth, you should have it seen by your dentist right away. Here are just four reasons why.

1. Your Tooth May Be Damaged

A cracked or chipped tooth isn't always obvious to the naked eye. This doesn't mean you won't notice symptoms. Your tender tooth may be the result of enamel damage and will show symptoms such as:

  • Discoloration of tooth
  • Pain when biting down
  • Random shooting nerve pain
  • Sensitivity to temperature changes

A damaged tooth doesn't have to be all the way broken to have lasting damage and without treatment can lead to a painful extraction or root canal. The sooner you have your tooth inspected, the sooner you can treat any small existing issue before it becomes a major dental concern.

2. Your Tooth May Reveal Another Dental Issue

Your tender tooth may not be the cause of your dental pain at all, but without seeing your dentist you won't know what is going on with your mouth until your condition worsens. Tooth pain can be caused by an infection in the gums, brushing too hard and causing enamel damage, or even by an object stuck in your gums or in your tooth itself.

Never attempt to self-diagnose your dental pain. Instead, make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your tooth, take xrays if necessary, and come up with a treatment plan for your discomfort based on what they discover.

3. Your Tooth May Have a Cavity

Cavities are caused by plaque, a collection of bacteria and sugars that collect on your tooth enamel and damage your teeth. Plaque is always present in your mouth but is tackled daily when you brush, floss, and use mouthwash.

When plaque finds its way into a sensitive part of your tooth enamel (often in the crevices of your molars or on the sides of incisor teeth), plaque can cause a hole in your tooth where decay sets in. This is where the cavity starts. The sooner your dentist can fill your cavity, the less likely it is you will have to get a root canal or have the tooth pulled.

4. Your Tooth Pain May Be Caused by Another Tooth

You may think that the tooth that shows sensitivity to chewing and certain foods and beverages is the problem, but another tooth could be the cause of your dental discomfort. A tooth that has severe decay or nerve damage may not have any pain at all but cause discomfort in your gums and the nerves of neighboring teeth.

Your dentist will need to check all your teeth to see if your tooth pain is singular or caused by another tooth in your mouth. The offending tooth will need to be treated or removed in order to alleviate your symptoms and help you get back to better oral health.

When a tooth is only slightly bothering you, you should still see your dentist as soon as possible to see what is going on inside your mouth. Regular checkups and cleanings will help you and your dentist find small dental problems before they become more serious in nature.

An aching or tender tooth can cause you discomfort every day. Rather than continue living with minor mouth pain, visit our team of friendly dental experts at Sun Dental. We offer sedation dentistry to make your oral procedures more comfortable and relaxing.