7 Common Causes of Mouth Pain

7 Common Causes of Mouth Pain

There are several reasons why you can have mouth pain, and our dentist can examine your mouth to find problems that are affecting your oral health. During a dental office visit, you will likely need medical images of your mouth to understand if the discomfort is caused by an issue deeper in the tissues of your face. It is possible to have multiple problems that are leading to mouth pain, but our dentist is able to provide treatments or procedures to help you feel better. Here are some of the causes for mouth pain.

1. Cavities in Your Teeth

Having cavities in the teeth is one of the most common reasons for pain in the mouth. Our dentist can see tooth decay to begin treatment immediately. For a smaller cavity, a filling made from metal or a composite resin can keep food debris, saliva and air from entering the cavity. If you have a larger cavity, then it is possible that you will need a root canal surgery before a customized dental crown is placed over the tooth. This will also prevent any additional discomfort in your mouth.

2. Canker Sores in the Mouth

If you have one or more canker sores in your mouth, then you will have pain. As saliva touches the canker sore, you will feel a burning sensation, and you will experience the same issues while eating food or swallowing beverages. Canker sores have a variety of causes, including:

  • Changes in your hormone levels
  • Several types of viruses
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Reaction to stress
  • Allergies to foods

To relieve your discomfort, our dentist can prescribe oral ointments or mouth rinses that will numb the canker sores. Most of these painful canker sores disappear within two weeks.

3. Cracked or Broken Tooth

An injury to a tooth can lead to excruciating pain, but our dentist can find tooth damage with an examination of your mouth. By repairing a damaged tooth, we can eliminate the pain in your mouth. To fix a broken or cracked tooth, you will likely need a root canal along with a dental crown. This is an emergency procedure that is performed right away so that your mouth pain will disappear within a few days.

4. Gum Disease

When you have gum disease, you will notice several symptoms, including swollen and bleeding tissues around your teeth. As gingivitis progresses, the pain in your mouth will increase, making daily living difficult. Alleviating the mouth pain from gum disease requires eliminating the bacteria from your mouth along with removing the infected tissues. Our dentist can anesthetize you while the diseased tissues are cut away. Treatment for gum disease requires multiple visits to our dental office until all of the infection is eliminate.

5. Jaw Joint Disorders

If you have mouth pain in the jaw’s joints, then you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This condition leads to pain in the mouth because the joints of the jaw are inflamed. This inflammation is due to the degradation of the cartilage in the joints, making it painful to open and close your mouth. With this condition, you are more likely to have pain in the morning when you wake up. There are treatments for temporomandibular joint dysfunction, including wearing splints on your teeth at night or having injections of a neurotoxin in the jaw’s joints.

6. A Dislocated Tooth

An accident can dislocate a tooth in your mouth, leading to discomfort. If you have a dislocated tooth, then you need treatment right away. Our dentist can insert a tooth into the socket before stabilizing it with wires that are attached to the nearby teeth. In some cases, a dislocated tooth can reestablish blood supply, helping to restore the tooth to perfect health. If the tooth won’t revive, then our dentist can perform a dental implant procedure.

7. Dry Mouth Syndrome

If the salivary glands in your mouth aren’t manufacturing enough saliva, then you will a dry mouth condition. This can lead to a burning or painful condition in your mouth, making it difficult to swallow food. Without enough saliva, you are more likely to have other oral health issues in your mouth. There are mouthwashes and oral medications that can alleviate a dry mouth condition, helping to reduce your pain.

Call Our Dentist Today to Learn More about Your Mouth Pain

At Dental Specialty Associates, our dentists offer complete examinations with X-rays to determine what is wrong with your teeth, gums or alveolar bones. We can determine what is causing your mouth pain to perform a procedure to help you feel better. You don’t need to live with discomfort in your mouth with our modern dental treatments. Call us today to schedule an appointment to overcome the pain in your mouth.

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Jaw & Bite Disorders: What You Need to Know

Jaw & Bite Disorders: What You Need to Know

Jaw and bite disorders are not as uncommon as you may think. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health suggests that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from some type of bite or jaw disorder. While many cases may go untreated, this does not mean that they do not go unnoticed.

What is a Normal Bite and Why Is It Helpful?

When your mouth is closed, the teeth should be properly aligned. This means that either the front teeth come down slightly over the bottom teeth or that they sit on top of one another comfortably. A normal bite is not only aesthetically pleasing but it serves to help protect your mouth. A normal healthy bite is referred to as an occlusion. An occlusion assists in prevention of biting the lips and cheeks, while protecting the tongue.

What Causes Misalignment of the Bite?

There are several things that can cause disorders of the jaw and misalignment of the bite. In some cases, it is hereditary. However, other common causes include shifting of teeth as a result of tooth loss or extraction, impacted teeth and even previous dental work. For example, retainers, braces or even crowns that were not properly fit can lead to future problems. Injury to the jaw, a size difference among the jaws or among the teeth to jaws and childhood habits such as prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use can also contribute.

What Are Signs and Symptoms of Jaw and Bite Disorders?

Signs and symptoms of bite and jaw disorders can vary from one person to the next based on several factors. These factors can include but are not limited to the severity of misalignment, the cause and the duration. A few commonly reported symptoms are pain when chewing, headache, earache and stiffness or soreness of the jaw. Speech issues such as lisp, difficulty chewing and grinding of the teeth may also be present. It is also worth mentioning that you may or may not have all of these signs and symptoms.

Is Dental Treatment Always Necessary?

Some people may choose not to receive any type of treatment for bite and jaw disorders, especially if they do not have pain or discomfort. The problem with this is that if left untreated, issues can develop over time causing the need for more significant treatment efforts at a later date. On the other hand, others may choose to have the issues corrected even in the absence of pain or discomfort solely for cosmetic purposes.

How Do You Know if Your Bite Needs Corrected?

In those who have more than a minor over or underbite, it may be quite obvious by the appearance. However, those who suffer from the signs and symptoms of pain, earache or stiffness of the jaw may be unaware that it is in fact the bite causing the problem. Your dentist can detect the problem with a few simple and painless tests that are routinely performed in some instances. When visiting the dentist, he may ask you about any pain or discomfort, perform a general visual inspection of the teeth and bite, perform x-rays and make an impression of the teeth.

How Are These Disorders Corrected?

Treatment is very individualized and is based on your unique needs and preferences. After confirming the presence of any type of jaw or bite disorders your dentist may make one or more of several recommendations. Treatment options may include tooth extraction, braces and/or the repairing of the teeth. Surgery of the jaw may be needed for some individuals with jaw disorders, especially if the length or shape of the jaw is the cause of the problem. Once again, these are just a few options that may be available to you. Rather than suffer from the pain and discomfort or the cosmetic concerns, why not call the dentist today? They can determine if you are indeed suffering from disorders associated with the jaw or bite and help correct them.

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How To Respond Appropriately To A Mouth Injury

How To Respond Appropriately To A Mouth Injury

A mouth injury is any type of problem that affects the inside of your mouth, including your gums and teeth. There are a long list of issues that can occur and worsen if they are not addressed appropriately. It’s never a good idea to ignore a dental issue, even if you think it’s a problem that will heal on its own. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of learning how to handle an injury, especially if it’s a pediatric dental problem. The information below will shed light on what should be done when mouth injuries occur. Of critical importance is making sure you visit your dentist when necessary.

Soft Tissue Mouth Injuries

There are many ways in which a soft tissue injury can occur to your mouth. Sometimes it happens when you bite your tongue accidentally or apply too much pressure when brushing your teeth, which can cause your gums to bleed. When you’re experiencing this type of problem, you can rinse your mouth with warm water or warm salt water, which will ease the pain a little. You can apply gauze to the area that’s been damaged and hold it in place for a few minutes or until the bleeding subsides.

While most dental injuries require you to visit a dentist, soft tissue injuries are a little different because if you have a significant amount of bleeding, you should actually contact you doctor.

Injury From Braces

There have been many advancements in technology for braces. Fortunately, braces are not as painful as they once were. However, it’s still possible to injure your mouth when wearing them. It can happen when you bump against something and the wires loosen and poke areas of your mouth. There are great toolkits on the market to help you clean your braces, but you should leave fixing them up to your orthodontist.

It’s best to see your orthodontist as soon as possible because issues that are prolonged can result in damage to your cheek or an infection from a tear caused by the broken wire. You can use gauze to cushion the wire until you make it to your orthodontist’s office.

Mouth Wound in Children

Sometimes it’s difficult to know why a child is in pain. It’s possible that they have experienced a mouth wound from a bump or fall. In fact, children fall frequently and it’s quite easy for them to have a cut inside their mouth when it happens. The symptoms often include swelling, bruising, bleeding, pain and perhaps a small laceration.

The first thing you should do is check your child’s mouth to see if there is a visible wound. If there is, you should see your doctor because there might be a facial fracture or something more serious. If your child has a broken tooth, you should see a dentist right away. If your child has mouth pain and you can’t pinpoint the problem, there’s a chance that it’s a cavity.

When it comes to dental issues in children, the biggest culprit is eating the wrong types of food, which leads to cavities. This happens when the bacteria in a child’s mouth turns the sugar from sweet treats into acids. This process results in tooth decay. By the time a child has a cavity, you should definitely be on your way to the dentist. While you may not be able to prevent mouth injuries from a fall, you can prevent cavities from forming.

Chipped Tooth

If you chip a tooth, be sure to keep the piece that fell off. Right after it happens, rinse your mouth with warm water and use gauze to soak up any blood and apply pressure until it stops bleeding. If you notice any swelling, use a towel to make a cold compress for our cheek or wherever there’s swelling. When you go to the dentist, be sure to take the broken piece of tooth with you.

Knocked-Out Tooth

As soon as your tooth has been knocked out of its socket, find it, rinse it off (don’t use any chemicals) and place it gently back into the socket. Don’t try to force it back into place because you might cause damage. If you are unable to do so, preserve the tooth in milk using a small container and visit your dentist immediately. It’s recommended that you get to the dentist within an hour, otherwise you risk the chance of not being able to have the tooth reimplanted.

Accidents happen and sometimes there is no way to prevent a mouth injury. However, being diligent about taking care of problems that arise is the best solution no matter what happens. Your dentist is a valuable resource to help you navigate all mouth and dental problems.

5 Common Foods That Get Stuck In Your Mouth

5 Common Foods That Get Stuck In Your Mouth

Here are several food items that typically get stuck in your mouth:


This is one of the worst things when it comes to getting stuck to the root of your mouth and in between your teeth. Even though bread can be very delicious, it is not good for your teeth or your body. This is because some of the particles of bread can turn to mush while you are chewing it and becomes trapped inside of the spaces in between the teeth. Normally after people have eaten white bread, they will have to pick the particles out of their teeth. If you really love bread, then it might be a good idea to start eating wheat bread. This is because there are less chances of the wheat bread sticking to your mouth and getting stuck.


There is a big chance that popcorn kernels are going to get stuck in your teeth. Popcorn is very difficult to get out of your mouth and teeth once they are in there. The kernels and shells from the popcorn can press against a portion of the tooth and move underneath the gums. The best way that you will be able to remove the kernels of popcorn from your teeth is with floss. But you need to be aware that this might not always work if the popcorn is really embedded in your gums. This is when you are going to need to go see a dentist so that they can help you out with the situation.


Most of the time, people are going to eat a lot of spinach because it is a superfood. But since the spinach is soft, it will get stuck in your teeth and cause you a lot of discomfort. The worst part is that you might have spinach stuck in your teeth and not even realize that it is in there unless someone tells you. Therefore, when your smile the spinach in your teeth is not going to be very attractive at all. Plus, if you leave the spinach in your teeth for a long period of time, then it can cause your teeth to decay. If you eat a lot of spinach, then it is a good idea to brush your teeth and floss on a regular basis. It also helps if you drink a lot of water because it can remove some of the particles from your teeth.


This happens when the meat is tough and chewy. The thinner strands of the meat can get caught up in your teeth. This is especially true for steak, chicken, pork, and fish. The meats that are a little bit more tougher can be more difficult to remove from the teeth. This is also true of the meat that people eat off the bone like chicken wings and ribs. These things are going to be very likely to get stuck in your teeth.


If you eat a few crackers, then you might think that there is no reason for you to brush your teeth or floss. But all of these foods that have a lot of salt in them are not going to be good for your teeth. In fact, crackers are one of the top reasons that a person might have cavities. The saltine crackers are going to be even worse for your teeth. This is because they are highly processed and have fermentable starch in them. When these types of crackers get stuck in your teeth, they will feed off of the harmful bacteria and cause the teeth to decay even more than they normally would with regular crackers that you might eat on a regular basis.

Toothache Remedies: Short Term & Long Term Relief

Toothache Remedies: Short Term & Long Term Relief

Anyone who’s ever had a toothache knows that “no fun” is an understatement. Toothache is characterized by severe pain or pressure in the tooth or jaw. It sometimes manifests in response to food that’s hot or cold, in which case the pain may survive the stimulus for up to 15 seconds. Pain may become progressively more severe over time as the condition worsens, perhaps spreading to the jaw, cheek, or ear.

Other symptoms might include pain with chewing, discharge or bleeding from teeth and gums, swelling around tooth or swelling of jaw, or other injury or trauma to the area. Symptoms are often associated with gum disease, tooth fractures, or dental decay. Dental decay or inflammation provide visual cues to the source of pain.

It is possible to confuse a toothache with other frequent sources of pain. Ear pain, sinusitis, or injury to the jaw joint are often confused with toothache. Pain from deeper within the mouth or jaw may be referred outward to the tooth. Only a dental expert can clear it up for sure.

Toothaches are generally caused by swelling of the pulp at the center of the tooth, which contains very sensitive nerve endings. Inflammation of the pulp may be caused by cavities, trauma or infection, or by referred pain from the jaw.

Over-the Counter Painkillers

There are a number of short-term toothache remedies you might try while you are waiting for a proper dental appointment. You can try acetaminophen or ibuprofen, following the directions on the package. Asprin can help adults with jaw joint pain, though for children acetaminophen is more appropriate.


Avoid foods at extreme temperatures such as ice cream or soup, since temperature, as noted, can trigger toothache pain. You can also try biting down on a cotton ball soaked in oil of cloves, thyme or vanilla extract, any of which may be found at a chain drug store or convenience store.


For a minor irritation, a salt water rinse and cold compress might be salubrious. Salt water is a natural disinfectant that can help loosen food particles trapped between teeth. A little bit of hydrogen peroxide, no more than 3%, mixed with water can be used as a rinse. It can reduce toothache pain and inflammation, kill bacteria, reduce plaque, and heal bleeding gums.


Other toothache remedies include the following food items. Make a nice cup of peppermint tea, but save the teabag. Let it cool, though it should still be slightly warm, and place it on the affected area. The teabag should numb tooth pain and soothe inflamed gums.

Garlic can be used to kill the bacteria that cause dental plaque while also acting as a pain reliever. You can try crushing a fresh garlic clove into a paste, adding a pinch of salt, and applying it to the affected area, or you could just chew the clove.

Wheatgrass and guava leaves can also be used in various ways. Wheatgrass has myriad healing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and its juice can be gargled like a mouthwash. Guava leaves have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and can be used to heal wounds. The leaves can be chewed or boiled in water to make a rinse.

When To See A Dentist

When a toothache is severe, does not get better with time, or appears to the result of a serious underlying condition, these home toothache remedies may not suffice. It may be time to schedule a dental appointment. You should definitely also see a dentist if you experience fever, general pain lasting more than a few days, trouble breathing or swallowing, discharge or pus, swollen gums, or pain when biting down.

Depending on the nature of the condition, the dentist might prescribe antibiotics and administer a local anesthetic. Fillings, extractions, root canals or crown procedures might also be performed. Treating pain and infection will be the priority, with the reconstructive operations being done over a period of several weeks or months.

All the patient will have to do afterward is to take any medications or advice the dentist gave him, keep his follow-up appointment, and report any new or worsening symptoms. Beyond this, the patient should eat a healthy, tooth-friendly diet, brush and floss regularly, and go in for regular dental checkups.

Questions About Toothache Remedies?

Dental Specialty Associates has a large team of dental professionals with decades of experience. We have successfully performed over 1000 surgeries using state of the art technologies, and offer flexible financing for our patients’ schedules. Most importantly, we are compassionate and pride ourselves on outstanding service. We are committed to providing patients with comprehensive, A to Z care that will leave them smiling, every time! To schedule an appointment, call us at (480) 633-9977 in Gilbert or (602) 795-5995 in Phoenix.

Abscessed Tooth: What You Really Need To Know

Abscessed Tooth: What You Really Need To Know

What most people know about having a tooth abscess is that it can be extremely painful. This is because a bacterial infection has caused a pocket of pus to form at the end of the tooth root. An abscess is something that can affect anyone, regardless of age, and it should not be taken lightly. Why? Because it’s an infection that can spread to other areas of your body. In fact, there are much more serious medical conditions associated with having a dental abscess, such as inflammation of the arteries, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Let’s delve deeper into what you should know about having a tooth abscess and answer a few common questions. Call Dental Specialty Associates for answers to your questions.

Why Do I Have an Abscessed Tooth?

There are many different ways to end up with a dental abscess. Teeth are quite complex. In fact, inside of them is a pulp that actually has connective tissue, nerves and even blood vessels that you can’t see. Infections that occur on the inside of your tooth are often the result of gum disease, cavities or some kind of dental injury. A tooth abscess can actually end up spreading to other teeth, which means you can have several abscessed teeth that originated inside of one tooth. As previously mentioned, the infection can continue to spread to other body parts.

How Do I Know It’s Actually An Abscessed Tooth?

Your first clue that you have an abscessed tooth is likely to be pain and swelling. However, you might also have swollen lymph nodes, a fever, pain in your jaw, problems chewing, a bad taste in your mouth and breathing difficulties. If you have an abscess located on your gum, you might be able to see what looks like a small pimple filled with pus. In fact, if pressure is applied, the liquid inside will seep out.

There are some instances when no symptoms exist and the abscess has to be identified by a dentist. This usually requires an x-ray, but sometimes a visual inspection will reveal an abscess. When there is no pain, it’s usually because the pus in the abscess has been draining, which is also a problem since it’s going into your bloodstream.

What Are Immediate and Long-Term Solutions?

The priority when dealing with an abscess is to identify and eliminate the infection as soon as possible. Given the potential repercussions, it’s wise to see a dentist right away. If you’ve ever had a dentist tap on your teeth, sometimes that’s for the purpose of making sure you don’t have an abscess. That little tap becomes painful when there’s an infection, but otherwise you don’t feel much at all. Once it becomes clear that you have an abscess, your dentist will probably refer you to an endodontist.

When it comes to the plan of care for an abscess, there are many possibilities. More than likely, you will receive antibiotics, especially if it’s believed that the infection has started to spread. Antibiotics can treat the infection, but it won’t eliminate the problem. Which means it might be necessary to get an extraction. There’s a chance that the endodontist can actually save your tooth, but that determination will take place during the exam.

For more severe issues, surgery might be required. This is because sometimes it’s necessary to drain the abscess, which will eliminate the pain. There’s also a chance that you’ll require a root canal, which is a procedure that’s often used to treat a dental abscess. A root canal is when an endodontist actually drills into the tooth to clean out the infection. The hole that was drilled is then filled and sealed. A root canal is often preferred because it enables you to actually save your tooth, which is always a priority.

What Can I Do To Prevent This From Happening Again?

One good thing about having an abscessed tooth is that it will inspire better dental hygiene. Nobody’s perfect and we all fall off the wagon when it comes to dental care. However, to prevent further issues with your teeth, you should absolutely visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings. You should also brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. When you have food stuck between your teeth, you might not know it’s there, which is why flossing is important.

Don’t forget to use fluoride toothpaste because it helps to prevent cavities. It goes without saying that you should minimize the amount of sugar you consume because sweets are the enemy of healthy teeth. That doesn’t mean you can never eat sweets, just do so in moderation.

Dental Specialty Associates Dentist Gilbert Phoenix Arizona
Our highly trained teams specialize in all areas of dental care treatments, from general dentistry to cosmetic and surgical procedures.
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Dental Specialty Associates of Gilbert

2730 S Val Vista Dr
BLDG 11, # 164
Gilbert, AZ 85295

(480) 633-9977

Dental Specialty Associates of Phoenix

4216 N 44th St
Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 795-5995

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