Your teeth are sore. You can’t eat or drink anything. Talking hurts. You’re doing everything you can to avoid allowing the air to touch your teeth, and you don’t even want to close your jaw.
While you’re waiting for your appointment with your dentist, it helps to narrow down some potential causes.You might even be able to reduce tooth soreness on your own by changing the oral care products you use.
Potential Causes of Tooth Soreness
Some causes of tooth soreness are more serious than others. If you aren’t sure the cause of your tooth soreness or you can see visible signs of tooth decay or infection, go to the dentist immediately. Some soreness might be temporary, but many causes will require proper treatment to resolve soreness.
Sinus infections can cause soreness of the teeth and jawbones. Your sinus cavities sit right above the roof of your mouth. When they swell or become infected, they push on the sensitive nerves of your teeth and gums. If your tooth soreness is coming from a sinus infection, there’s no need to treat your teeth. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear out your sinuses.
In the meantime, using a neti pot and a humidifier might help. Be sure to frequently blow your nose to help relieve the pressure as it builds.
Grinding Your Teeth
Many people who grind their teeth have no idea that they’re doing it. They wake up with sore teeth and no explanation as to how things got that way. If the biting surfaces of your teeth appear to be smooth or less defined, you could be grinding them away while you dream.
There are two approaches to resolving nighttime teeth grinding. The first is to use a custom-fitted mouthguard. You’ll still perform the motion of tooth grinding in your sleep, but your teeth will be protected from the damage.
The second approach is Botox. Botox is considered a cosmetic injectable filler. It’s something people use to minimize the appearance of wrinkles or lift their eyebrows temporarily without surgical intervention. Botox is excellent as a cosmetic product, but it’s absolutely invaluable as a medical treatment.
Botox can be injected into the jaw muscles involved in involuntary teeth grinding, stopping you from grinding while you’re asleep. It can also be injected into the muscles that grow tense with migraines. If you experience migraines as a result of your grinding, ask your doctor about injecting Botox into both locations.
The Use of Tooth Whitening Products
Gels, strips, pens, and toothpastes promising whiter teeth fill the aisles at your grocery store. Many people would love it if their smile were a few shades brighter, so they pick up these products and give them a try.
Tooth whitening products often work by using peroxide to bleach the interior of the teeth. Peroxide enters the tooth by damaging the enamel or utilizing its weak spots, seeping into the dentin and encapsulating discolored stains. The peroxide exits with the residue it collected, ideally leaving behind a whiter tooth.
This process is highly traumatic to both your enamel and your dentin. It cannot work without damaging both. This damage leads to heightened tooth sensitivity. The worst thing about all of this damage is that the products are only minimally effective. Many require use two times a day for up to a few weeks before results can be seen, and even then, many people are underwhelmed by what they see.
If you want to whiten your teeth, speak to your dentist. He or she will advise you of in-office whitening treatments and tell you if you’re a good candidate for bleaching treatments.
Mild inflammatory gingivitis and its insidious big brother periodontitis can cause sore teeth, swollen and receding gums, and oral bleeding. If your teeth are sore and your gums appear red or swollen or look to be shrinking, the culprit of your soreness might be gum disease that requires immediate intervention.
Cavities or Tooth Decay
If you only have one or two sore teeth, take a close look at them. You might notice cavities or decay surrounding the teeth. Decay and cavities can occur to multiple teeth when the mouth is crowded, allowing the decay to effortlessly travel to an adjoining surface.
An Infection in Your Mouth
Infections in your mouth may not always be obvious at first sight. Infections can happen beneath the gum line, and you may not be able to see them.
Sensitivity, bad breath, discolored saliva, elevated temperature, and swelling may be symptoms of an infection in your mouth. Don’t take chances. See an emergency dentist if you believe you may be experiencing a dental infection.
Weakened Enamel Causing Sensitivity
Sometimes, sore teeth creep up on us. One day they’re fine, and then they start to become progressively more sore with each passing day. If you haven’t done anything different, you don’t see any signs of tooth decay, and you’ve ruled out an infection, your soreness can be related to weakened enamel.
Over time, enamel erodes. Even if you take very good care of your teeth, a little bit of erosion can be natural. Focus on remineralizing and protecting your teeth. Strengthening them can minimize or reduce soreness.
Preventing and Healing Sore Teeth
Sore teeth can often be prevented or managed by changing your oral hygiene routine. Swapping out the products you’re currently using for products that will work better to keep your mouth clean and your teeth strong will go a long way in preventing soreness from recurring.
Stop Bleaching Your Teeth
Never use toothpastes, mouthwash, or treatments containing peroxide unless your dentist gives you approval to do so. Small concentrations of peroxide are approved for use in over the counter whitening products, but prolonged use of these products can cause significant damage to your teeth. If your tooth soreness can be correlated with the use of whitening products, toss them out.
Brushing twice a day with a gentle, mildly abrasive toothpaste will be enough to slowly and naturally whiten your teeth a few shades. You just have to be patient. If you’re concerned with the discoloration of your teeth, avoid using tobacco, drinking red wine or coffee, and consuming acidic foods and drinks.
Eliminate Bad Bacteria From Your Mouth
Bad bacteria can lead to dental infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. All three things will leave your teeth feeling sore. A natural antibacterial ingredient like nano silver can help to combat bad bacteria without destroying the natural balance your mouth requires to keep itself healthy.
Nano silver particles are small particles of silver with specially coated cores. They steal electrons away from the cell walls of bacteria, and as a result, those bacteria cells implode. When they implode, they’re useless. They cannot stick to your teeth or gums and cause infection.
Strengthen Your Enamel and Reduce Your Inflammation
Enamel weakness leads to tooth soreness, cavities, and tooth decay. Fortifying your enamel with a rich source of calcium and trace minerals will help to restore lost enamel. Ingredients like coral calcium can work in conjunction with tooth protecting ingredients like xylitol to repair your teeth and keep bad bacteria from taking over.
Natural anti-inflammatory ingredients like panax ginseng and goldenseal can reduce uncomfortable inflammation of the gums. As the gums heal, soreness will begin to subside.
Visit Your Dentist
Pain is usually a sign that something is wrong. If your teeth are sore and you don’t know why, you should make an appointment with your dentist. This is especially important if the pain doesn’t seem to be temporary and you haven’t used any teeth bleaching products. Never take chances with your oral health.
Your dentist can examine you for underlying infections or search for hard to spot cavities that may be the source of your tooth soreness. If you have the beginnings of gum disease, your dentist will advise you of what you can do to treat or reverse the condition.
Since sore teeth can be caused by a large variety of issues, they can be remedied by a wide variety of solutions. Be sure you know why your teeth are sore before you attempt to treat them on your own. It’s always a good idea to avoid tooth bleaching products.