Painful Teeth and Gums, No Cavities, TMJ Problem

WillSY Asked :

I recently had a cavity filled but noticed that my teeth are still paining. My dentist cannot find any other cavities but says that it could be the same tooth that is causing the problem and wants to consider a root canal. It’s like a dull ache both in my teeth and gums and its like on the top and bottom.

I do have a TMJ problem which seems to get worse when I am stressed so I am wondering if this is causing the problem because I have a lot going on at work at the moment. This is not the first time I had this dull pain. It happened a few time previously but lasts for like a week or so. It never bothered me much but would always scare me enough to stop the chocolates, candy and sodas until it went down. I can’t say if this helped or not or if it just went away on its own. The only other problem I have is acid reflux which is mild.

What could cause this pain of the teeth and gums? Its dull but nagging and I cannot just wait for it to go away each time.


This question was posted under the Clicking Jaw, Jaw Pain and TMJ Dysfunction article.

Any response by the Health Hype team does not constitute a medical consultation and the advice should be viewed purely as a guide. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your current treatment program. The information provided in this article is not an authoritative resource on the subject matter and solely intends to guide the reader based on the questions asked and information provided.


Dr. Chris Answered :

It is important to first ascertain whether the pain that you are experiencing at the moment is related to the cavity or filling. A new cavity may also be forming and while it is not evident at the moment, it could be causing this pain. However, it should be isolated more to one tooth which you would have noticed at this stage. Your dentist would also consider the possibility of an abscess and it is advisable to return for another checkup.

In terms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, it tends to aggravate during periods of stress as a person clenches their teeth unknowingly during this time. This is known as bruxism and is more pronounced while you sleep. The force created by this clenching strains the TMJ but also puts significant pressure on the teeth and gum. This can cause a dull ache of the teeth and gum. Over time, erosion of certain teeth will become evident.

Another possibility is that you have sensitive teeth (dentine hypersensitivity). There are a number of causes of this but bruxism, acidic drinks (like sodas), hard brushing and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux). This erodes the enamel of the teeth and exposes the inner dentin. Try to switch over to special toothpaste that caters for dentine hypersensitivity and speak to your dentist about a mouth guard (bit guard). This may help to reduce the extent and pressure created by involuntary clenching.

Your dentist will be in the best position to advise you on possible causes and necessary measures which may need to be undertaken. If none of these seem to help, you should see your doctor to exclude other medical conditions that could be contributing to this problem.

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  • chux

    please my girl friend have been experiencing pain on her left breast for about 2 months now. when her monthly period came it stopped, but a few weeks after the period it started again, and her next circle is due in a week. its just her left breast. whats your take on this doc.

    thank you

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Chux

    This article on dental and TMJ problems. Take a look at these two articles for more information on breast pain :
    Breast Pains
    Swollen Breasts