Top 4 Causes of Tooth Pain in the Jaw

No one wants to deal with a toothache, especially if it affects not just the tooth, but the surrounding jaw tissue, making it difficult to chew, speak, and smile. Tooth pain in the jaw could cause headache, changes in ear pressure, and sensitivity, among other symptoms. Suffering from facial discomfort could put a real damper on your summer plans or make going back to school even more difficult. Unfortunately, there are many reasons people suffer from tooth pain in the jaw. The good news, however, is that Houston, TX dentist Dr. Craig Armstrong can help you identify the source of your discomfort so you can relieve it. Read on to learn the top four causes of tooth pain in the jaw so you can better understand your discomfort and quickly alleviate it.

1. Severe decay.

If plaque and tartar (the hardened form of plaque) are allowed to accumulate on your teeth, the bacteria within them can produce acids that erode your enamel, exposing the inner workings of your teeth and causing discomfort. This aching sensation can spread throughout the jaw, especially if caries allow bacteria to penetrate the tooth’s inner pulp (blood vessels, nerves, and tissue) and cause infection. In some cases, tooth decay could even lead to an abscess, a pus-filled pocket of infection above or below the tooth, making the jaw sore. Dr. Armstrong can help you treat this type of jaw pain by placing a filling or performing root canal therapy as needed.

2. TMJ disorder.

Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the band of tissue that connects your temples with your lower jaw. Basically, it acts as a hinge for your face, allowing you to open, close, and move your mouth properly. If your TMJ gets torn, stretched, misaligned, or injured in any way, this can cause TMJ disorder, a condition associated with the following symptoms:

  • A popping, clicking, or scraping sound when moving the jaw
  • Headache
  • Toothache
  • Jaw soreness in one or both sides
  • Tenderness
  • Lockjaw (difficulty opening the mouth)

If you suffer from TMJ disorder, Dr. Armstrong will gear your customized treatment plan according to the specific root cause of your condition. He may recommend a mouth guard, oral medications to relax the tissues, stress management techniques, or, in serious cases, oral surgery to remedy your TMJ disorder.

3. Oral trauma.

An injury to your face could cause tooth pain in your jaw. Oral trauma could crack, chip, or fracture your tooth. It could also irritate or damage your periodontal tissue. In addition, depending on the type of injury, it could dislodge or misalign your jaw. If you’ve suffered from a dental injury, Dr. Armstrong can see you for an emergency appointment to assess your mouth and prescribe an appropriate treatment to restore your oral health.

4. Wisdom tooth issues.

Wisdom tooth problems often cause tooth pain in the jaw. Third molars typically come in between the ages of 16 and 25. However, these back teeth often do not grow in at an appropriate angle or have enough room to develop properly. The eruption process can cause jaw soreness. In addition, wisdom teeth often become decayed, infected, or misaligned, causing further toothache. If your wisdom teeth are causing dental issues, Dr. Armstrong can remove them to alleviate any discomfort and improve your oral health.

We Can Help Alleviate Tooth Pain in the Jaw

No matter the cause of your tooth pain in the jaw, experienced Houston, TX dentist Dr. Armstrong can assist you. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options or schedule a consultation.

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Saving Your Sinuses: Toothache Relief With a Sinus Infection

According to WebMD, approximately 37 million Americans suffer from sinus issues. Your sinuses are the mucous-lined passages within your skull. If they become infected, inflamed, or irritated, this can cause a host of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches and congestion. Since they are in close proximity to your mouth, problems with your sinuses can also lead to toothache. At our Houston dental practice, Dr. Craig Armstrong and our team are dedicated to helping you maintain and improve every facet of your oral health. In the following blog, we explain how sinus toothaches work and what you can do to alleviate your symptoms.

Symptoms of a Sinus Toothache

When your tooth begins to throb, it can be difficult to identify the exact source of the discomfort. In addition, sinus toothaches can manifest in a variety of ways, depending on your particular condition. You may be experiencing a sinus toothache if:

  • You suffer from sharp or dull discomfort in a particular region of your mouth. This may be constant or intermittent.
  • You have or recently had a cold or flu.
  • You have allergies. Many people experience an uptick in sinus issues during the summer when pollen is more abundant.
  • You have recently been exposed to a chemical irritant or other substance that could upset your sinus function.
  • You suffer from sinus polyps or another condition that could block the flow of air and mucous through your sinuses.

If you notice any of the above, you should make an appointment to see Dr. Armstrong. During this visit, he will examine your mouth and sinuses, go over your medical and dental records, and discuss your concerns with you to help diagnose your condition.

What Causes a Sinus Toothache?

In some cases, your toothache symptoms may be completely unrelated to any issues with your actual teeth and gums. Other sinus conditions can put pressure on the surrounding tissue and lead to the feeling of a toothache. However, your discomfort may actually be tied to a dental issue. The following oral health conditions can lead to sinus toothache:

  • Prior treatment. If you have recently undergone oral surgery, root canal therapy, or crown placement, your tissue may have become infected or damaged in the process, and bacteria could have spread to your sinuses, as well. This is why it is important to work with a qualified practitioner like Dr. Armstrong when having these procedures.
  • Tooth root infection. If your tooth becomes injured, bacteria could penetrate and infect it, in addition to the sinuses. Sinus toothaches are particularly common when diseased third molars (wisdom teeth) are not removed. These may develop abscesses (inflamed, pus-filled pockets) very close to the sinuses.
  • Oral injury. Trauma to the face or head region could impact both your sinuses and your teeth, leading to sinus toothache symptoms.
  • Loss of upper teeth. If you have had one or more upper teeth extracted, your sinuses may not have enough support to remain in proper position, causing them to drop. Sinuses that are lower than than normal often accumulate debris and cannot operate well.

How We Can Help

If you suffer from a sinus toothache, Dr. Armstrong and our team can assist you by diagnosing your condition, determining the cause of your discomfort, and recommending appropriate treatment. For example, if a tooth root infection is causing your sinus toothache, Dr. Armstrong can perform root canal therapy to clean the tooth and remove the diseased tissue, which should allow the sinuses to function better. We can also perform restorative procedures to repair damage from oral trauma and extract diseased wisdom teeth. If your sinuses have dropped, Dr. Armstrong may recommend that you undergo a sinus lift, a bone grafting procedure to reposition and build up the jawbone tissue in this area. In addition to addressing your toothache, a sinus lift can make you eligible for advanced, cosmetic dental implants at our Houston practice.

Enjoy a Beautiful Smile and Healthy Sinuses

Having a sinus toothache can be extremely uncomfortable and affect your oral health. If you suffer from this condition, Dr. Armstrong and our team can help you identify what’s causing your discomfort and help you remedy it.

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