If your teen is experiencing mouth pain, you may be concerned about their discomfort. Some mouth pain can indicate a serious condition that requires prompt treatment. However, other oral discomforts are less serious.
Here are a few conditions that could cause your teenager to have mouth pain.
Erupting Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth are the molars at the very back of the mouth. They don't appear until a person reaches his or her teens. In some cases, the teeth do not erupt until the early twenties.
Your teen may be surprised at the discomfort associated with incoming wisdom teeth. However, mild pain from the pressure of the erupting teeth against the gums is common. Once the teeth have fully broken through the gums, the pain should subside. Lingering pain that does not decline or a wisdom tooth that never presents should be investigated by a dentist.
Pain that does not diminish could be caused by inflamed gums. The gums around a wisdom tooth that has only partially erupted may trap plaque and particles of food, inciting gum disease. As the gums become increasingly irritated from exposure to oral acids, they also become more tender.
Additionally, a wisdom tooth that does not erupt may be positioned laterally beneath the gums. The teen may continue to experience discomfort until the tooth is extracted.
Teens with busy schedules may neglect their oral hygiene. As a result, they may experience tooth decay.
Decay occurs as the enamel of the teeth becomes damaged from exposure to oral acids. The acids are produced by the bacteria of the mouth as they digest carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates are supplied by the meals and snacks that your teen ingests. Items that are sweet or starchy are especially high in simple carbohydrates that can be readily digested by oral microbes.
Once the acid from the microbes begins to dissolve the enamel of the teeth, a cavity starts the form. Initially, the cavity may cause a little discomfort, but as the hole deepens, the nerves of the tooth become increasingly exposed to environmental factors, such as heat and cold. This exposure can cause painful sensitivity.
Also, if the tooth is invaded by the oral bacteria, it may become infected. Oral infections can reach the pulp or center layer of the tooth where the dental nerves originate.
If your teen is experiencing oral pain, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area, such as at Carpenter Dental, for an accurate diagnosis.