Pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. But it’s not always easy to determine the cause of your discomfort. If you’re experiencing pain in your mouth, it’s likely related to your gums or teeth and requires a visit to your dentist. But not all pain originating from the mouth or teeth is strictly a dental issue. Knowing the symptoms can help you treat the pain for a short period of time but it’s recommended you see a medical professional before your condition worsens. Read on to discover the most common conditions, symptoms, and treatment options for mouth discomfort.
1. Dental Issues
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your mouth or teeth, the most logical explanation would be a dental issue. Here are a few of the most common causes of dental pain and how they can be treated.
· Gum Disease
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is an extremely common and uncomfortable condition cause by the buildup of plaque in the mouth. This happens when you fail to practice proper oral hygiene including brushing your teeth twice a day (or after each meal) and flossing. Signs you may have gingivitis include red, inflamed gums. If the condition is left untreated, you may develop periodontitis. This occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth, allowing bacteria to settle into pockets in your mouth. Gingivitis makes you more susceptible to additional complications including tooth decay and sensitivity.
Sensitive teeth are a common occurrence and may be a sign of something more serious. If your teeth are sensitive to extreme hot or cold, you may need to see your dentist. The most common causes are the wearing away of tooth enamel or and exposed root. But sensitivity can also be related to other common dental issues like a cavity, cracked tooth, or worn filling. Your dentist can properly diagnose the origin and cause of your tooth sensitivity.
· Tooth Decay
Tooth decay due to poor dental hygiene is one of the most common and basic causes of tooth pain. When you don’t properly care for your teeth and gums, it allows bacteria and other foreign substances to collect in your mouth, breaking down the enamel, getting stuck in your gums, and building plaque. Over time, plaque eats away at your teeth and gums, causing a long list of complications. Tooth decay encompasses several issues including cavities and abscesses. This type of decay can happen in various degrees, so the sooner you address the issue, the easier and less invasive the fix will be.
· Tooth Damage
Tooth damage comes in many forms and the most common symptoms are pain and sensitivity in the affected area. Conditions include a cracked tooth, abscess, or an impacted tooth. A dental examination will determine the exact cause of your condition. Although teeth are extremely hard and resilient, they can weaken over time simply from age, and the wear and tear of chewing and biting down. A weakened tooth may crack under the pressure of an extremely hard item like a popcorn kernel or ice.
An abscess occurs when bacteria builds up inside the center of your tooth and becomes infected. The pressure from the infection builds up, causing extreme pain. Your tooth naturally tries to drain the infection, which is another symptom of this condition. These signs may indicate you’re in need of a root canal. If you have a crowded or small mouth, your teeth may not have room to properly grow, causing impacted teeth to get stuck below the gums. The most common fix for this condition is removing the “stuck” teeth.
2. Non Dental Issues
Surprisingly, not all pain originating from the mouth is related to your teeth specifically. Other conditions can present themselves as pain and discomfort in your mouth and teeth. Here are just a few.
· Sinus Infection
Your sinuses are connected to various parts of your upper body. Sinus pressure and pain can build in your head, the bridge of your nose, ears, behind your eyes, and in your mouth. Sinus pressure occurs when fluid and mucus build in your sinus cavities. This pressure builds and may cause discomfort in your upper teeth and mouth. This type of pain is often described as throbbing or pressure, rather than a sharp pain.
· Vitamin Deficiency
Healthy teeth require not only brushing and flossing but vitamins, as well. Lack of essential vitamins in your diet and body can cause mouth and tooth pain. Specifically, the lack of vitamin B12 is associated with toothaches. Lack of vitamins may also cause tooth decay, so these two factors are closely linked.
Diabetes affects more than 100 million U.S. adults. Signs and symptoms of diabetes include extreme thirst and fatigue, weight loss, tingling pain and numbness in the extremities, and tooth pain. That’s because one of the main side effects of diabetes is uncontrolled blood sugar. These unbalanced levels in the body can lead to rapid tooth decay and may be a catalyst for more serious conditions. High sugar levels in the saliva of diabetics can create excess plaque and bacteria in the mouth, making them more susceptible to dental complications.
· Cluster Headaches
There’s no known cause for cluster headaches. Unlike migraines and tension headaches, there are no common triggers for cluster headaches, though its believed that abnormalities in the body’s biological clock could be to blame. Similar to sinus pressure and headaches, the pain felt by cluster headache sufferers can radiate down into the mouth and jaw, mimicking a toothache. If you suffer from cluster headaches and the pain in your mouth occurs at the same time as an attack, the cause may be your headache instead of a dental issue.
· Heart Attack
The most common signs of a heart attack include sharp chest pains, tingling or pain shooting down the left arm, difficulty breathing, and sweating. But some heart attack patients also experience sharp pain in their lower jaw. It’s important to note that this sign of a heart attack can occur in either side of the face and is more common in women than men.
Toothaches are common and often overlooked. When the pain comes and goes, most people brush it off as nothing serious. But it’s important to know that recurring tooth pain or discomfort could be a serious dental issue or even an indication of a completely different medical issue. It’s always best to get evaluated by a medical professional if the symptoms persist or get worse.
Article Submitted By Community Writer