Upper Tooth Pain Radiating To Lower Jaw
Upper toothache pain can radiate to the lower jaw. Additionally, as the Mayo Clinic notes, a person with tooth abscess can experience pain in the lower jaw, neck, or radiating out to the ears.
To treat a tooth abscess, the dentist drains the pus and administers antibiotics. A dentist uses a drill to bore a hole into the dead tooth to get out the pus. A root filling then needs to be inserted to prevent subsequent infections. This procedure, also known as a root canal, can be extensive.
If left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to complications that can be life-threatening.
It cannot be stressed enough. Poor dental hygiene and the consumption of food rich in sugar lead to a risk of abscessed teeth.
Ruling Out Other Conditions
An important part of the process of diagnosing trigeminal neuralgia involves ruling out other conditions that cause facial pain.
- joint pain in the lower jaw
- giant cell arteritis where the medium and large arteries in the head and neck become inflamed and cause pain in the jaw and temples
- a possible nerve injury
The GP will also ask about your medical, personal and family history when trying to find the cause of your pain.
For example, you’re less likely to have trigeminal neuralgia if you’re under 40 years old. Multiple sclerosis may be a more likely cause if you have a family history of the condition or you have some other form of this condition.
However, trigeminal neuralgia is very unlikely to be the first symptom of MS.
Dental Pain And Headaches
Dental pain and Headaches
Headaches which have their origin from or related to the oral cavity itself, are limited. Most pains originating from the oral cavity , remain localised to the source of the pain. The main causes of pain originating from the mouth are:
Tooth Decay/CavitiesGum Infection Dental Abscesses originating from the Pulp Chamber Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction – See TMD SectionDry Socket
Of these causes of pain, the first four almost always have their pain remaining in the mouth. They may sometimes have pain radiating from their oral source into neighbouring tissues. The pain seems to always remain more intense, close to its source. It would be incorrect to list these as a source of headache.
The final three on the list can all cause pain, which may often be described as a headache or facial pain.
Temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction has been covered in a separate section, and is a common cause of facial pain / headache.
Other causes of pain from the oral cavity which could be said to cause headache / facial pain, are from mucosal problems. Fortunately, these are rare in occurrence.
Some examples of these are: Lichen Planus / Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis / and Bullous type disorders.
For further information on these issues, consult your family dentist or the Dental Association in your state.
See Treatments Section:
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You Have A Cavity That’s Turned Into More Serious Tooth Decay
How to treat it: If left untreated, some tooth pain and infections can lead to life-threatening concerns and can spread throughout the body, causing an even greater infection, says Dr. Handschuh, so follow up with your regular dental care appointments every six months to avoid these more serious scenarios.
The bottom line: Tooth pain might have a simple, easy-to-treat cause or it may be more complicated, so its best to always play it safe and head to your dentists office for an evaluation.
You Have A Gum Infection
If youve been told that you have periodontal disease, youre far from alone. In fact, nearly half of the U.S. adult population 30 and older has mild, moderate, or severe periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
But even if youre lucky enough to not have it, you can still contract a gum infection. This occurs when germs or bacteria enter the teeth or gum area and multiply to a point where the body cannot fight off the bad bacteria, says Melissa Thompson, DDS, a Massachusetts-based dentist and owner of three Aspen Dental practices. The infection may cause pain or swelling, a small pimple above the tooth or area, the release of pus, or even a bad taste in the mouth.
How to treat it: As soon as you notice any of these signs, its best to get to your dentists office, stat. Gum infection may lead to an abscess, which can cause even worse pain, says Dr. Handschuh. Your dentist will have to clean out the gum region around the infected tooth and prescribe antibiotics and oral rinses immediately.
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Can An Infection Move From One Tooth To Another
Bacteria are always looking for the right conditions to thrive. So, if one tooth suffers from decay, it may spread to the surrounding teeth if they have cavities.
Eating too many sugary foods and a lack of proper dental care creates an environment for bacterial growth. Thus, a tooth infection can easily move from one tooth to another.
You Recently Had Your Teeth Whitened
Teeth whitening can cause sensitivity, as the bleach can cause the teeth to become temporarily porous, says Dr. Martinez-Barron. This almost always resolves itself within a few days, or by using a toothpaste like Sensodyne.
How to treat it: You can help to minimize sensitivity by brushing your teeth with Sensodyne a week or two before a bleaching treatment, she says.
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How Do Toothaches Affect Your Ear
Youre likely to experience a toothache and an earache at some point in your life, but these actually can be connected. How can you tell the difference? Your doctor or dentist can determine if a dental issue is the culprit behind ear pain, usually by lightly tapping on a tooth or your gums to see if you feel any soreness.
You can also differentiate ear pain caused by a toothache, as opposed to an earache, by certain symptoms. Earaches usually are accompanied by cold-like symptoms, congestion, loss of appetite, hearing problems, and balance issueswhich typically are not symptoms of a toothache.
Cold Sensitivity That Lingers
If you experience cold sensitivity that lasts longer than five seconds, irreversible pulpitis or inflammation of the pulp of the tooth may be to blame. This type of tooth infection happens when a cavity is left untreated and begins affecting the nerve. In the early stages, your discomfort may go away. However, as this progresses the sensitivity will linger for much longer. In most cases, treatment for IP will require a root canal.
If youre experiencing this type of pain, its important you treat it quickly. The longer you wait, the worse the nerve damage will be. Pain will also continue to increase.
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Treatment For Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can be detected by using a panoramic X-ray. Your dentist can identify them and take steps to treat them before they begin to worsen and cause debilitating pain.
The most effective treatment for an impacted wisdom tooth is extraction. If the tooth is difficult to access, because it is trapped beneath bone the procedure will need to be performed by an oral surgeon.
Your mouth will be anesthetized before the surgery. The dental surgeon makes a small incision in the gum above the impacted tooth. He may need to excise a small amount of bone or break up the tooth into smaller pieces before completing the extraction.
Mild painkillers will be prescribed to help with post-surgical pain and discomfort. Your doctor will monitor you to ensure no infections occur. Usually, there should be no further complications
If you are experiencing the painful symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth, contact your dentist right away. Dr. Ernie Soto can diagnose your impacted wisdom teeth and get you on the path to a pain-free treatment. Specializing in sedation dentistry, Dr. Soto offers a complete range of dental services. To schedule an appointment, call 368-6264 today.
Or Is It The Egg And Then The Chicken
Let’s back up now and look at the reverse: dental pain that originates from the periodontal tissues. Common periodontal disease caused by a build-up of bacterial biofilm along the gum line can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums. This results in detachment of the gum tissues along the tooth surface, also known as periodontal pocket formation. In advanced cases, the infection can travel to the end of a tooth and into the tissues of the dental pulp a so-called primary periodontal-secondary endodontic problem. You may feel this as both periodontal and endodontic pain.
It gets even more complicated when you consider that some teeth have lateral canals root canals that branch off from the main canal and exit the tooth not at the end of the root, but somewhere along its side or in an area where teeth with more than one root join each other.
Fractured teeth may also cause both endodontic and periodontal pain, depending upon which structures the fracture involves.
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Crowded Teeth And Malocclusion
Crowded teeth can put pressure on one another, and this can result in pain. They may also cause jaw misalignment when the mouth is closed. Dentists refer to this as malocclusion.
Crowded teeth and malocclusion can cause pressure and pain sensations in one or more areas of the mouth. In some cases, all the teeth may be painful.
Some other potential symptoms of crowded teeth include:
- crooked or overlapping teeth
- pain in the back of the mouth, from the wisdom teeth coming through
- changes in the teeth or the shape of the bite over time
Inflammation Of The Pulp
This condition is commonly referred to as pulpitis. It occurs when the tissue in the middle of a tooth becomes irritated and inflamed. This irritation leads to an accumulation of pressure inside the tooth and puts a strain on the gums and surrounding tissue. The treatment for pulpitis is usually a root canal procedure. It is important to get the condition treated quickly because the tooth pain can become severe fast.
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Can A Toothache Cause A Headache
Yes. The trigeminal nerve is responsible for carrying messages for almost all toothaches as well as headaches, which often means that toothaches can be directly responsible for headaches.
Additionally, we often tense up other areas of the body like the jaw when our teeth hurt, which can lead to headaches. Other problems, like sinus infections, can sometimes radiate as both toothaches and headaches.
Cavities Periodontal Disease Or Abscesses
When it comes to tooth and ear pain, the most frequent types of dental issues to cause referred ear pain are those associated with infected upper back teeth . If there is an abscessed tooth, serious gum disease, or a severe area of tooth decay, the pain can seem as if its coming from the ear.
This type of tooth pain can range from dull, chronic aches to sharp, acute pain. There may also be swelling along the gums, or visible fistulas that give off a salty taste as they come and go. Gums may bleed when youre brushing and flossing.
The best type of treatment will depend on the specific type of tooth infection you have. For periodontitis, that would be a deep cleaning and any other gum therapies. For cavities, you would probably need a filling. Abscessed teeth will typically need endodontic therapy if they can be saved. More serious stages of these infections might require a tooth extraction.
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Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Disorder
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction disorder refers to long-term pain and dysfunction in the TMJ, the joint that connects the upper and lower jawbones.
The TMJ is a complex joint with complicated movements and is subject to strain and injury. Symptoms may come and go for no apparent reason. Misalignment of the teeth and jaw, and tooth grinding, are no longer believed to be a cause. Women seem to be more susceptible than men.
TMJ disorder has three types:
- Pain or discomfort in the muscles controlling the TMJ.
- Dislocation or injury to the jawbone.
- Arthritis of the TMJ.
Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging. The goal is to rule out other causes such as sinus infection or facial nerve damage.
Due to the difficulty of diagnosing TMJ disorder, treatment begins with conservative methods that do not permanently change the jaw or teeth. Ice packs, soft foods, gentle stretching of the jaw muscles, and reducing stress are all encouraged. Short-term pain medications may be used. Splints, Botox, implants, and surgery are not recommended.
Top Symptoms: dizziness, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, history of headaches, jaw pain, pain in the back of the neck
Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibular joint dysfunction disorder: pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw
Urgency: Primary care doctor
You Have Other Serious Health Issues
Bottom teeth pain isnt always a sign that you have dental issues. Teeth pain can also be caused by a variety of other serious health issues that you might not even think of. These include heart attacks, sinus infections, cluster headaches, viral infections, diabetes, nerve-related disease, alcohol or drug abuse, and more.The only way to truly find out what is causing your bottom teeth to hurt is to speak to your dentist. Theyll be able to get to the root of your teeth pain and provide you with solutions to make you pain-free again.
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Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
You may feel pain in your upper molars because of a sinus infection. These molars are near your sinuses, and a sinus infection can cause head pressure that radiates to your molars.
Taking care of a sinus infection or sinusitis
Your dentist may recommend that you see a doctor to diagnose a sinus infection or sinusitis. You may be able to treat sinus pressure with an over-the-counter medication.
When To Seek Medical Care For A Toothache
Don’t put off a trip to the dentist if your teeth hurt. Cavities and cracks get worse over time. You should call your doctor or dentist about a toothache when:
Any history of trauma, chest pain, or heart disease, or rashes may suggest causes of pain other than purely dental origin. These symptoms with toothache or jaw pain indicate that you should visit your doctor or a hospital’s emergency department.
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When To See A Doctor Or Dentist
Tooth pain can occur for many reasons. However, it is not possible to diagnose the cause based on pain symptoms alone, so a person should see their dentist if they experience any kind of tooth pain.
Some types of tooth pain indicate a need for immediate treatment. For example, anyone who experiences any symptoms of a tooth abscess should book an emergency dental appointment.
In rare cases, infections from untreated dental abscesses can spread to other areas of the body. This can result in serious health complications.
You Have A Nasty Sinus Infection
Especially during allergy and flu season, a sinus infection may creep up in a way that doesnt even feel like a normal one. Since the roots of certain teeth actually sit right by the sinuses, the pressure from a sinus infection actually mirrors tooth pain, says Dr. Handschuh.
How to treat it: You may have to wait out the sinus to get rid of the tooth achiness. Instead of dental treatment, one would need medication like a decongestant and possible antibiotic prescribed by their family physician, says Dr. Handschuh.
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What You Should Know About Traveling Tooth Pain
Toothaches can be uncomfortable because they cause pain in the jaw and other parts of the mouth. In some instances, the pain can become unbearable when lying down.
Many factors cause toothaches. For example, a common cause is a cavity or hole on the enamel the tooths surface. A cavity can extend deeper into the tooths structure and even to the pulp or nerve if left untreated.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can also cause severe toothaches. In the United States, 47% of people 30 years and older suffer from gum disease. According to figures from the CDC, the prevalence of gum disease increases with people 65 years and above, as 70% have gum disease.
Bacteria that stay a long time in the mouth can cause gum disease. Worse, when bacteria is not removed by brushing, it forms a film around the gum and teeth called plaque. As plaque hardens, it forms dental calculus and eventually makes it harder to clean your teeth properly. Once gum disease develops, a person may start experiencing red or swollen gums, bad breath that wont go away, tooth loss, and painful chewing.
While improper dental care is a common cause for toothaches, not all toothaches originate in the mouth some toothaches are of non-dental origin.
A referred toothache can move from one side of the mouth to another and migrate from tooth to tooth.
When To See Your Dentist
If you have toothache for more than one or two days, visit your dentist as soon as possible to have it treated. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get.
If your toothache isn’t treated, the pulp inside your tooth will eventually become infected. This can usually lead to a dental abscess, with severe and continuous throbbing pain.
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