difference in mouth pain

Mouth Pain can be Confusing, Here’s how to tell the Difference

difference in mouth painThousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, CA

We experience discomfort or pain in the mouth from time to time, but sometimes that pain can be confusing. It can leave you asking yourself: What is causing the pain? Is it something serious? Do I need it checked by the doctor? What can I do in the meantime to help with the pain? These are common questions that may run through your mind when pain strikes in your mouth. Your Agoura Hills dentists at Integrative Dental Arts are here to shed some light on the different types of mouth pain, and what you can do about it.

Periodontal Abscess

Known as an abscessed tooth, this infection presents pain and discomfort that tends not to be calmed by over-the-counter pain medications. Swelling is common, and the side of your face may feel warm to the touch. A tooth becomes abscessed when bacteria reach the inside of the tooth, usually from extensive decay or a crack that reaches the interior nerve and blood supply of the tooth’s root. Bone loss may occur if the infection is not taken care of quickly. Also, the infection could spread to other vital parts of your body and even result in death if it spreads to your brain or heart. If you believe you have an abscessed tooth, call your Agoura Hills dentist right away for an evaluation and treatment.


Bruxism, which is classified as clenching and grinding of the teeth at night, is common. It can leave you with sore teeth, pain in your jaw joints, and headaches, especially upon waking up. Bruxism may even make your teeth feel like you have a toothache that will not go away. If you feel widespread pain through your teeth, have tender or sore jaws, and experience frequent headaches in the morning, it could be due to bruxism. A custom-made night guard from your family dentist in Agoura Hills can protect your teeth, and relieve these symptoms for good. While bruxism does not pose an immediate threat to your health, don’t ignore it. Get in to see the dentist soon or you could risk damaging your teeth.

Sinus Infection

Do you ever experience a toothache that occurs only in the upper back teeth? It may even seem like it affects all of your back teeth. This can sometimes be due to a sinus infection. The tips of the tooth roots in our back teeth are located very close to the floor of the sinus cavities. When sinus pressure builds up, it can leave you with what feels like a severe toothache. So, if your upper back teeth seem to be hurting, and you also notice you have some sinus issues going on, call your doctor and ask about taking over-the-counter nasal decongestants. However, if your tooth pain persists or does not go away after your sinus infection has cleared up, have the dentist check out your teeth to rule out possible oral health concerns.

Pathological Disease

Oral cancer can occur in the mouth, neck, or jaw areas. If a tumor is located near a tooth, you may experience swelling, or tooth pain and mobility, which may mimic a common toothache. However, it is important to have your oral health assessed, especially if you notice any sores in your mouth that do not heal, that ooze or bleed, or any lumps or masses around your mouth, neck, or throat. Ideally, routine oral cancer screenings would identify cancer in the initial stage, rather than when pain occurs, which is when chances of successful treatment are lower.

Emergency Dentist in Agoura Hills

If you find that you experience pain in your mouth that does not subside after a day or two, please call us at Integrative Dental Arts by calling (818) 889-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Integrative Dental Arts serves patients living and working in the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village in southern California.