Dentist filter: dull ache when biting on one tooth!
February 6, 2012 7:47 PM   Subscribe

dentist filter: I have a tooth (upper right molar, second to the last one) that occasionally have a dull pain when I bite on it. It usually happens when I am tired, i.e. when I am sleep deprived. I had a dental cleaning/checkup on Jan. 13, and the dentist didn't say anything. I am out of the country now and have no access to any dentist, and I am really worried.

Here are some more information about the tooth/ things that are happening my mouth:

This tooth had a cold sensitivity problem for about 1 week back in May 2011. I used Sensodyne for a week and it went away. I can see about 2 mm of root exposure. Between this tooth and the one in front, I can also see a small brown spot. In Jan. My dentist said it was demineralization and stain, rather than a cavity.

as for the dull pain that happens when I bite: it first started back in October, for a couple of days and then it disappeared. Then in December, I was up for like 4 days straight and it was bite sensitive for about a week, then it went away. Then I went home for break, and it was perfectly fine pretty much the whole time. I asked my dentist about it, but nothing showed up during the check up. After I left the country again on Jan. 23, for about 2 weeks, every night as I get sleepy it starts again, and disappears completely in the morning.
In the past couple of days I've noticed that it would start for about 30 minutes in the evening and then go.

when I lick the outside of this tooth (the side not facing my tongue), I can feel a spot on the gum that feels like when I have an ulcer in my mouth, and it's right at the gum line. Also, as I became worried about it recently, I sometimes brush that tooth extra long, which might be making it worse.

And lastly, during my Jan. 13 visit my dentist did a filling on the lower right molar that my funny tooth is biting on. After I left, I realized the filling was maybe a tad too high. I also have a problem with popping jaw on my left side, and I sometimes clench.

I floss daily and brush 3 times a day, after every meal, and don't have bleeding gum, but I did have a bout of poor oral hygiene when I was younger. It almost seems like the days I brush more/longer it gets worse though.

Can anyone tell me what could be causing the dull pain when I bite? Is this periodontal disease? Is my gum just irritated possibly by the brown patch? Is this gingivitis? How do I make it stop, at least until I can see my dentist again in June?
posted by atetrachordofthree to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
The dull pain is probably due to the lower right molar having been filled too high. Stress biting will do that - you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep, as your subconscious is trying to fix the problem. Just get to the dentist when you can, to get it taken down a little. In the meantime, any dentist should be able to fix this sort of problem - even in other countries.
If you have a gum infection, even slight, it can make you feel under the weather. Use an alcohol-based mouthwash twice daily until it clears up. Listerine is my go-to mouthwash for gum infections - which everyone gets from time to time, especially if you fail to floss regularly.
posted by Susurration at 8:43 PM on February 6, 2012

Oh - an over-brushing will cause more problems than it fixes - especially wearing away the skin of your gums. Try to use a medium (not hard) brush and brush twice daily. Your "gum infection" may just be over-brushing problems.
posted by Susurration at 8:45 PM on February 6, 2012

I have receding gums and the pain you describe sounds similar to what I experience when I'm over tired. I find that my gums are much better if I use a brush that has little rubber fingers in it. They massage the gums and reduce the tendency to press too hard. Seconding the mouthwash.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:12 PM on February 6, 2012

Do you have any kind of issues with your sinuses? When my allergies kick up, even to a minor degree, my upper molars get ridiculously sensitive. It gets better when I take decongestants or when the seasons change and pollen isn't a problem anymore.
posted by corey flood at 9:16 PM on February 6, 2012

I do-- I have pretty bad allergy and have always had some sort of problem with my sinus. That's a good idea.
posted by atetrachordofthree at 4:47 AM on February 7, 2012

It could just be normal sensitivity from gum recession too, which can be irritated by over brushing. Try using Sensidyne toothpaste for a couple of weeks.
posted by COD at 5:26 AM on February 7, 2012

I was coming in to ask about your sinuses as well. Sometimes my teeth hurt REALLY BADLY and it's usually when I am having sinus issues. Try a neti pot and/or something like Claritin or Zyrtec or Allegra.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:09 AM on February 7, 2012

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