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4 Common Causes of Mouth Pain Your Fort Lee General Dentist Sees
As a Fort Lee general dentist, we have seen every dental issue in the books. Patients come to our office for many reasons, but the most common complaint is mouth pain. Mouth pain is a hard problem to pinpoint, especially when it gets worse over time.
What causes mouth pain?
Your dentist will consider several potential diagnoses based on medical history, a thorough dental examination and imaging tools. To help you figure out what is causing your mouth pain, read on to discover the top four most common causes of mouth pain we see most frequently at our Fort Lee general dentist office.
The erosion of the enamel due to acid production in the mouth can cause tiny holes to form in the outermost layer of the tooth. Harmful bacteria in the mouth feed off of the food particles we eat every day. When these food particles, especially carbohydrates, remain in the mouth for any amount of time, the bacteria begin to digest their food source, producing acid as waste.
Acid begins to eat away at the enamel, creating small holes in the tooth. Once this hole has formed, the inner nerves and tissue within the structure are exposed, resulting in sensitivity and toothache. This feeling is often intensified by contact with cold and hot food and beverages.
Periodontal or gum disease is characterized by inflammation and infection of the gum tissue. The first stage of early gum disease is gingivitis, a condition where the gums become inflamed, red and swollen. Periodontitis occurs when infection follows.
When left untreated, the infection causes bone loss and deterioration of the gingival tissue. Gums become loose, detaching from the teeth and forming pockets that are more susceptible to bacterial attack. Tooth roots are exposed to the air at this stage, causing a painful sensitivity to cold, pressure and chewing. Most early stages of gum disease can be cleared with one visit to your general dentist.
Inflammation of tooth pulp
When tooth decay reaches the inside of a tooth, the pulp inside that tooth can become infected. Infected pulp or pulpitis is the most common reason for a root canal procedure. Teeth with pulpitis tend to be severely sensitive to temperature. The inflammation within the tooth causes pressure to form inside it and in the surrounding tissue.
Irreversible pulpitis causes pain that lingers well after the stimulus has been taken away. For example, after a hot beverage is consumed and the pain still subsists, the infection may be irreversible. Reversible pulpitis stops responding to stimuli within seconds of it being taken away.
Trauma to a tooth is another frequently occurring reason for mouth pain. A fractured or cracked tooth can be caused by sports injuries or even biting down on hard objects. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding and clenching, can cause tiny cracks to form in teeth that weaken the tooth structure. Without treatment, bruxism will cause bigger cracks and eventually tooth failure.
Cracked teeth exhibit a sharp pain while biting or chewing. Uniquely, cracked teeth are also sensitive to sour and sweet foods along with extreme temperatures. A visit to your Fort Lee general dentist can resolve the problem.
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