Few things are more dreaded than tooth or mouth pain. In such a sensitive area, pain that might be tolerable elsewhere suddenly becomes unbearable. Drinking hot or cold beverages, chewing, and even breathing may seem like a major undertaking when mouth pain sets in.
If you are experiencing oral pain, our team at Dental Specialty Associates is here to help. We’ve put together a list of the leading causes of mouth pain. Which one sounds like you?
1. Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism, is one of the most common causes of mouth pain. Grinding your teeth typically occurs while you’re sleeping and requires an immense amount of pressure from your jaws, which may leave a sore, achy feeling the next morning. But the effects may be long term as well — over time, grinding your teeth wears them down to stumps and may cause them to crack, break, or fracture in a painful manner.
2. Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) is a condition that occurs when the joint between your lower and upper jaw is damaged. This may happens as a result of trauma or other injury, but the most common cause is grinding your teeth at night. The immense pressure required to grind your teeth places undue stress on the cartilage in the joint and may even damage it permanently. If you have TMJ, you may feel pain when you open or close your mouth, and it may hurt to chew foods.
3. Cracked or Broken Tooth
A cracked or broken tooth can be very painful if not treated right away. Cracked teeth leave the sensitive inner pulp, which contains the nerve endings, exposed and vulnerable. If left untreated, this soft pulp can become infected and cause even more mouth pain.
Any number of things can crack a tooth: hard foods or candies, trauma, and even poor hygiene can weaken your teeth and cause them to chip and break.
4. Tooth Decay or Infection
Think of the last time you had a splinter or hangnail that became infected. The area surrounding the wound became red and swollen as your body worked to heal itself, and at times, you likely felt a throbbing pain.
The same thing happens when a tooth becomes infected or begins to decay, except this time, that throbbing pain is inside a hard, enameled shell that can’t expand the way the skin on your finger might. This can be extremely painful if not resolved by a dentist immediately.
5. Gum Recession or Disease
Receding gum lines can lead to more than just periodontal disease — they can also lead to a very painful situation that requires a dentist’s attention. As your gums recede, they leave your tooth’s sensitive root exposed to food, drink, and saliva. Not only is this part of your tooth more sensitive to temperature, but it also lacks the protective enamel that coats the rest of your tooth … which means it’s more susceptible to further damage.
Have More Questions About Mouth Pain?
If you are experiencing mouth pain, our team of specialized professionals at Dental Specialty Associates can help. Give us a call at 602-795-5995 to schedule your appointment.