Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tooth Pain, Sensitive Teeth, Mouth Pain, Sore Gums and Tooth Sensitivity Products

Tooth Pain can be one of the most excruciating pains a person can experience.

There are a variety of reasons for pain in the mouth. The most common ones are listed below:

A. Tooth pain
  • Cavity (caries) or tooth decay. (a  hole in a tooth caused by acid  formed by plaque on the teeth.)
  • Orthodontics
  • Fractured tooth
  • Trauma from occlusion (heavy bite or bruxism)
  • Trauma from foreign objects (biting nails, pens, pencils etc).
  • Poorly fitting restorations.
  • Diet high in roughage like Sun-flour seeds
  • Erosion by acid exposing dentin
    • Acid reflux (GERD
    • Excessive intake of acid foods like citrus
    • Purging
  • Genetically or environmentally defective enamel 
    • Poor diet
    • Amelogenisis Imperfecta and many others
    • Multiple illnesses during tooth maturation age
B. Gum pain
  • Gum Recession. Gums can recede for a few reasons:
    • Braces pushing teeth beyond the boundaries of the bone and soft tissue
    • Aggressive tooth brushing
    • Abfraction (splintering off of tooth structure)  from excessive biting forces (clenching, grinding called bruxism)
    • Gum disease and gum surgery causing gum and bone to be destroyed
    • Passive eruption with age as teeth wear.
    • Extraction  of a neighbor tooth leading to bone atrophy and gum receding. 
    • Genetics causing an inadequate band of attached gingiva to protect the tooth.
    • Trauma from habits like lip ring, tongue ring, foreign objects in the mouth, including toothpicks.
    • Frenum pulls (muscle attachments in the mouth near the gum)
    • Food packing between teeth.
    • trauma from dental appliances.
    • Impacted tooth (a tooth trying to erupt that is bumping into a structure or tooth)
    • A combination of these.
  • Infection
    •  Tooth (abscessed tooth)\
    •  Gums
      • Pericoronitis (a gum flap over an erupting tooth)
      • Gingivitis/periodontitis/ NUG/ANUG (trench mouth)
C. Other infections causing  mouth pain
    •  Other oral tissues
      • Salivary gland infection
      • Canker sore (viral?)
      • Thrush (yeast infection)
      • Sinus/nasal infection
      • Ear infection
      • Tonsillitis
      • Other infections
D. Other causes of mouth pain
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Braces causing injury to cheeks and tongue
  • Tongue and cheek biting
  • Geographic tongue (a condition causing a burning sensation of the tongue)
  • Referred pain like (angina) heart disease 
  • Headache pain not related the above (there are over 150 types of headaches with varying degrees of mouth involvement)
  • Muscle spasm of muscles of the mouth and supporting structures
  • Tumors and cancers
  • Neurological disorders like Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Blocked salivary glands
  • Tumors of the central nervous system
  • Systemic conditions and diseases like Fibromyalgia
  • Pinched nerves
  • TMJ Pain (internal derangement)
  • Trauma
There are a few topical treatments readily for mouth pain that are available over the counter listed below:
A. Tooth Pain
  • Desesitizing toothpastes several common (active ingredient is either Strontium Chloride  or Potassium Nitrate) 
  • These are somewhat effective for sensitive teeth, within a week of two and must be used daily.
  • MI Paste, SootheRX, Oravive toothpaste, Dr. Collins Restoring toothpaste a remineralization toothpaste (utilizing a unique Calcium Phosphate complex) these work quite well.
  • OraJel tooth desensitizer. Contains an acrylic coating material. leaves a film on your teeth can be difficult to apply.
  • Red Cross tooth drops (clove oil) or clove oil from health food stores. Be careful as it can be toxic and injure the gums if used excessively.
  • Anbesol, OraJel (and others) contains Benzocaine. Can injure gum tissue if used for extended period
  • Fluoride toothpaste standard (not very effective alone)
  • Dentemp  and others a temporary (filing for cavities)
  • Orabase for painful gums. Contains Benzocaine. Be careful as it can injure gum tissue if used for extended periods.
Treatments you dentist can provide include:
  • Prescribing antibiotics and analgesics
  • Dental care to:
    •  Fill a cavity or place a crown.
    • Extract a tooth
    • Clean out a gum infection
    • Remove pericoronitis (laser or other method)
    • Desensitize a tooth with a chemical treatment or seal the exposed dentin
    • Treat an abcessed tooth (root canal)
    • Remove food impaction and correct the problem
    • Adjust the bite on an injured tooth
    • Prescribe a biteplane for bruxism, TMJ disorder, headache, muscle pain. recommend care for GERD or other erosive causes
    • Advise about oral habits and foreign objects causing injury
    • Supply MI Paste, SootheRX, Fluoridex, Prevident 5000 prescription strength toothpaste
    • Adjust a dental appliance
    • Provide orthodontic wax
    • Recommend definitive care for conditions that will likely recur. (eg treatment for periodontal disease, multiple missing teeth, severe wear and breakdown of teeth,  multiple cavities etc)
    • Evaluate refer for further care for oral tumors, headaches and other conditions out of the scope of the dentists expertise.


  1. I never had experienced toothache ever. And I am thankful that my sister took very well of me when I was younger. As I can remember, First Grade was my first visit to my dentist in Los Angeles. And the next was Senior High and from that day on I started with my regular checkup. And up to this age, I do not have a clue how a toothache feels and I don't wanna experience it either.

  2. I somehow agree that tooth pain is the most severe kind of pain a person can experience. We can still do the normal activities of our life if we have fever or cough. But when tooth ache attacks, it makes our world stop and it is like the PAIN is only thing existing on the Universe.

    Keri Foley
    Dental Specialist Singapore

  3. Wow! I never thought that tooth pain has many causes. Dealing with tooth pain is really hard, and I don't want to experience it again. Following the dentist's recommendation and proper oral care did the tricks for me.

    Lawrence Gilstrap

  4. Yes Lawrence it can cause you to put your life on hold. Glad to know you have a good dentist and you follow the recommendations.

  5. Great! We will be connecting to this enormous post on our site. Continue the good writing. Cosmetic Dentist reseda

  6. Wow!! Wonderful Post.. Very informative, In childhood I scare with dentists and with their tools for treatment. But last year i had to visit dentist for teeth whitening and that was amazing experience of my life. Now i think we all should meet doctor for regular dental checkups.

  7. Placing hot or cold water in your mouth may cause a shock to your already sensitive tooth. Rinsing with warm salt water may be helpful. Mix a couple teaspoons of table salt in a glass of warm water, then try swishing the mixture in your mouth. from West Airdrie Dental sedation for dentistry.

  8. Great survey, I'm sure you' re getting a great response. dentist Airdrie Alberta

  9. Good information. It was really useful. looking forward for more useful information
    Thank you.

    Best Dental Hospital in Chennai
    Dental Hospital in Hyderabad
    Dental Hospital in Bangalore


About Me

My photo
Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.