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4 Pains In The Mouth That Could Indicate A Dental Problem

Many of patients don’t think about their teeth much until they are hurting, and by that point a serious dental issue may have developed. Regular check-ups with our dental experts can help you avoid this predicament. But if pain does strike, here are four of the most common types of dental pain we see and what they are caused by.

1. Hot/Cold Sensitivity

In normal circumstances, you shouldn’t have a painful reaction to relatively hot and/or cold substances. If you find that you are bothered by temperatures that don’t seem to register with others, you may have heightened sensitivity. The enamel on your teeth is a protective shield, but when that enamel becomes compromised via decay or a loose filling, you will feel it! Especially if the decay is severe enough that your nerve is exposed. Nerve pain is no joke. The sensitivity can also be traced back to gum recession that has exposed the roots of your teeth.

2. Swollen or Tender Gums

Healthy gums are firm and pink. If you notice your gums are swollen, inflamed or red in a particular area, it may be a red flag indicating that you have developed a periodontal abscess. Abscesses are often accompanied by a fever and or a strange taste in your mouth.

By definition, an abscess is a collection of pus caused by bacteria. When an accumulation of bacteria forms in your mouth, your body attempts to contain it by creating a barrier around the infection site in the form of pus. This pus has no way to drain and therefore it puffs up, swells and causes pain and pressure.

Abscesses can also form inside your teeth, these are known as periapical abscesses.

If you notice this happening, get into our office as soon as possible so we can relieve your pain and address the problem.

3. Painful Jaw Clicking

While this “pain in the mouth” is technically outside of your actual the mouth, it is still very related to your dental health. Temporomandibular joint disorder causes painful clicking, popping and tenderness of the jaw. This issue occurs when your jaw joints move out of proper alignment, are shifted by impact or eroded by age.

While TMJ pain might not be as urgent as some of the other types of dental pain, if left untreated it can cause tension headaches and other issues.

TMJ is fairly easily diagnosed here at the office. If you notice pain and come in to have it checked out by our dental team, we will perform a simple exam of the area and we may also do a dental x-ray. Then we can suggest the proper therapies or procedures for you.

4. Dull Ache

If your teeth have a dull ache, especially right when you wake up, you may be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, afflicts approximately 8 percent of adults and even more children according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Other signs of bruxism include tender and sensitive teeth as well as visible fracturing and chipping of teeth or dental work. Some of our patients describe the pain as more intense on their upper teeth.

If we suspect bruxism is the cause of your aching teeth, we can do an examination and fit you for a mouth guard or splint to protect your teeth while you sleep. There are also other stress management techniques and therapies you can try to eliminate the grinding entirely.

These are just four common types of pain, but if you are experiencing ANY kind of mouth pain, get into our office ASAP. Our goal is to help you identify the source of yoru pain and resolve it permanently.


  1. Alexander Jacques Sabucido says:

    We should be aware of these 4 pains cause it shows to be the signs and symptoms that could possibly result to dental problems.

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