No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Feeling Pain? Maybe It's Time To See Your Dentist

by Jeremiah Barnett

A dentist is not a professional you should see only when you need a routine tooth cleaning and exam. This professional can help address many different conditions that affect the health of your teeth and of your mouth in general. There are times between routine exams when you should have your mouth checked out by a dentist, as there are certain types of pain that he or she can address. Consider some of the following types of pain you might be feeling that indicate you may need to see a dentist for treatment.

1. Headaches, neck aches, and shoulder pain

There are a number of reasons why you might get headaches and pain in the upper part of your body, but remember that the muscles of the jaw stretch around your face to the back of your head. When the jaw is overworked or those muscles get stressed for any reason, this can cause pain that radiates up and down these areas.

In many cases this type of pain is caused by misalignment of the teeth; the upper jaw is meant to rest on the lower one for support, and when it can't, the muscles get overworked. A dentist can bond or put caps on certain teeth for added support, or you might need traditional braces or another means of aligning your teeth. In some cases a bite guard you wear at night can also give you immediate relief.

2. Pain when you chew

You should never feel pain when you chew your food; if you notice that you have pain that radiates down the center of your teeth, this is often a sign of cavities and exposed dentin, the fleshy substance inside your teeth. The nerve endings of your teeth are just below this dentin, and when they're exposed, you may feel pain when eating. Simple fillings can often address this pain, or you may need to have your teeth bonded or capped to provide extra protection.

3. Throat pain when you awaken

If you notice you have a very dry throat or any type of pain when you awaken, you may need to see a dentist. You may have excess tissue in the upper part of the mouth that should be removed, or your jaw may be falling open during sleep, allowing air to pass over your throat. In turn, it becomes dry and irritated. A mouth guard can support you during sleep to keep your jaw in place. A dentist can also easily remove fatty tissue with a laser to keep you sleeping more comfortably and protect your throat as well.

For more information on ways a dentist can help relieve your pain, visit a dentist like Dentalcare Associates.