5 Possible Causes of Facial Pain

causes of facial painAre you experiencing a dull, severe, momentary, or persistent pain; perhaps on one side of your face or both?

Pain is a regular, though unwelcome reality for everyone. As with any other kind of pain, the first step in treating facial pain is a diagnosis. There are several likely causes of facial pain, including injury, infections, and nerve problems. So, how do you recognize the source of your facial pain?

Possible Causes of Facial Pain

1. Headaches

There are some people who experience headaches a lot, which can lead to intense facial pain associated with a cluster headache or migraine. These headaches typically occur on one side of the face and head, with the pain focused around the eye area. There may also be some pain in the teeth and jaw area. This pain can be managed with painkillers, though it is best to visit a physician for proper diagnosis.

2. Dental Abscess

An abscessed tooth is one that has been infected so severely that bacteria has reached the blood vessel and nerve portion of the tooth as a result of periodontitis, advanced tooth decay, or a cracked tooth. The symptoms of dental abscess include excruciating and persistent pain, red gums, facial swelling, fever, and a bad taste in the mouth.

3. Sinus infections

Also referred to as sinusitis, these infections cause extensive facial pain, especially in the upper jaw and teeth. You can also experience some pressure around the cheeks and eyes, facial swelling, bad breath, ear pain, and fever. Pain due to sinusitis is usually confused with tooth pain because it appears at the sinus cavity, which is close to the roots of the upper molar teeth.

4. Dry Socket

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot after tooth extraction fails to form properly or gets displaced. The symptoms are similar to those of an abscess, and include throbbing pain, fever, swelling, and bad taste in your mouth.

5. Temporomandibular joint disorders

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) play a vital role in opening and closing your mouth. So, any problem that interferes with the function of the TMJ can result in facial pain. There are many things that can affect your TMJ, including habitual teeth clenching and grinding; misaligned bite; dislocation; injury; and arthritis.

Final Note

Facial pain can also be caused by Herpes Zoster or Trigeminal Neuralgia. Considering the numerous likely causes of facial pain, it is important that you visit your dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that remedies for facial pain depend on the cause of the pain, and may include wearing a mouth guard, jaw exercises, or medications.

Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum

Benefits of Chewing GumYou now have a legit excuse to enjoy a flavor-filled piece of gum if you’re looking to maintain your oral health up to par. Yes, you read that right! Recent studies show that enjoying a piece of sugar-free bubble gum could actually have benefits to your health.

How Does Sugar-Free Gum Benefit Your Health?

In order for a product to earn the seal of approval by the ADA , the product and/or company must meet all the requirements for safety, efficacy, and health established by the association. The fact that gum now officially has earned the seal of approval by the ADA, is a major moment for people with major sweet-tooth and dentists!

The type of efficacy the ADA looks for in a product may include benefits such as reducing plaque acids, promoting remineralization of tooth enamel, reducing cavities and/or reducing gingivitis. The world’s most popular guilty pleasure might not be so guilty after all, since it meets the established efficacy, according to ADA professionals.

Your Guilty Pleasure Has Health Benefits

With this new discovery, professionals are now encouraging their patients to enjoy a piece of gum after a meal. We all know that a healthy mouth equals a healthy life, according to recent studies and the approval by the ADA, chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after a meal can actually prevent tooth decay and therefore seeing an overall improvement in your health. Saliva contains necessary calcium and phosphate that strengthens tooth enamel, but reinforcing your enamel by chewing sugar-free gum can be especially beneficial in fighting off bacteria and decay.

When enjoying the many flavors available of sugar-free gum, you are actually experiencing an increase in saliva flow in your mouth. The saliva then washes away food and neutralizes acids, cleaning and protecting your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria.

Choose Your Gum Wisely!

Make sure to read labels and do a brief research on some of your favorite brands. Not all brands and manufacturers are the same. In fact, you’ll want to make sure your gum is sugar-free and has the seal of approval by the ADA. Although regular gum also increases your saliva flow as well, it’s not necessarily beneficial to your mouth. The sugar actually feeds the bacteria in your mouth, putting you at a greater risk to experiencing tooth decay.

Always Look For The ADA Seal of Approval

As stated earlier, products and brands alike must go through a specific process to meet requirements, health and efficacy regulations established by the ADA. A company must include lab results and clinical studies to even be considered by the ADA. Whenever you’re looking for the appropriate brand or make of gum, look for the ADA seal often found on the back of the package.

Sugar-Free Gum and Practicing Healthy Habits

Although chewing sugar-free gum can aid in keeping your mouth healthy, it should never serve as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing! Keep in mind that your best defense against decay and dental disease is to brush teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste as well as floss once daily!

Learn How You Can Detect or Prevent Oral Cancer

Detect or Prevent Oral CancerIf diagnosed in earlier stages, oral cancer can be treated and resolved with little to no hesitation. Approximately 50,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with oral cancer, only about half of those individuals will survive. It all depends on the stage their cancer currently is when discovered by a professional. Your well-being depends on being diagnosed in the earlier stages, so taking the appropriate precautions and measures will be crucial to your overall health and prevention of oral cancer.

Professionals will look for signs during regular checkups and appointments. But there are some precautions you can implement into your daily routine to help prevent any future conditions.

Signs And Symptoms That Are Crucial to Your Health

Mouth cancer can occur anywhere in your mouth, including the lips, tongue and throat. Cancer may also appear in salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. That being said, look for the following symptoms that may persist more than 2 weeks and make sure to consult with a professional.

  • Look for sores, swellings, lumps or thick patches anywhere in or around your mouth or throat.
  • Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips are also an example of signs that can help prevent future issues.
  • If you feel a lump or object stuck in your throat, speak to a professional.
  • Another crucial sign is any discomfort you may experience when wearing dentures.
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness anywhere in your mouth, including your tongue.
  • Pain in one of your ears but without any loss of hearing.
  • Trouble moving your jaw or tongue, or problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking.
  • Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause.
  • Lingering sore throat or hoarseness.

Preventing Cancer is The Best Treatment

Although it’s unclear exactly how oral cancer created, there are some certain lifestyle factors that place you in higher risk of being diagnosed with a condition. Tobacco is the leading high risk factor that may result in developing cancer. In fact, the Mouth Cancer Foundation reports 90 percent of those with oral cancer consume tobacco. Heavy use of alcohol also increases a person’s chances of developing oral cancer, and the NIDCR says your risk is even higher when using both tobacco and alcohol.
In addition to tobacco and alcohol, age and eating habits can many times influence your health as well. Studies show that most people over the age of 40 and with a diet that is deficient in fruits and vegetables can make it easier to contract.

Teeth Whitening Myths

teeth whitening mythsWhen it comes to teeth whitening, there seems to be several different approaches to choose from. And of course all of them boast results. However, which ones should you be weary of? We’ll let you know which teeth whitening methods you shouldn’t waste any time or money with.

Teeth Whitening Myths Debunked

Strawberries & Lemons

Yes, believe it or not you CAN whiten your teeth by using the pulp of crushed fruits such as strawberries or lemons mixed with baking soda. Yes, this method will work to whiten your teeth because the acids eat away at your enamel, which can cause permanent damage to your teeth if continuously used (we say “continuous” because teeth whitening results do not last forever & you will have to reapply every so often). Because of the issue of permanent damage we recommend avoiding this technique.

Baking Soda

People believe whitening may be achieved by applying baking soda to your teeth. However, this simply does not work and can disrupt the bacteria in your mouth. We advise against trying this method.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide has many uses, but teeth whitening is not one of them. In fact, when hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with gum tissue it causes free radical reactions that will quickly age these tissues so we advise against this option as well.

Whitening Toothpaste

Any type of whitening toothpaste you see in stores should not be purchased. These toothpastes are too weak to make any significant impact and often leave people very discouraged as a result. Keep in mind that for any color change to occur the active chemical must be applied for at least 20 minutes. Most toothbrush sessions do not even last 2 minutes, which is the recommended amount of time to brush.

Teeth Whitening Lasts Forever

We’ve seen the rumors float around, that teeth whitening results last forever. Unfortunately this is not the case as the natural aging process will still occur and cause teeth to yellow overtime. As a result, touch ups are necessary to maintain results.

The Best Way To Whiten Teeth

Currently professional in-office teeth whitening and custom whitening trays remain the quickest and most efficient ways of whitening the teeth without causing much damage to the enamel, teeth, or gums.

Choosing the Right Powered Toothbrush

choosing the right powered toothbrushDoes the toothbrush you select matter? Absolutely. We’ve already outlined the differences between manual and electric toothbrushes, but now we’d like to take it a step further and educate you on the types of powered toothbrushes you will be presented with.

Choosing the Right Powered Toothbrush

When you decide to finally purchase a powered toothbrush, you will find that there are many options to select from. This is precisely why we felt the need to craft a brief guide for you in determining the best fitting powered toothbrush.

There are three types of powered toothbrushes currently on the market:

Oscillating/Rotating Toothbrushes

Oscillating toothbrushes, such as the popular one offered by Oral-B, are electric toothbrushes in which the head spins very fast in one direction for an effective clean. These work very well for children & seniors and also happen to be rechargeable.

Sonic Toothbrushes

Sonic toothbrushes, such as the Sonicare offered by Philips, are essentially the same as oscillating/rotating toothbrushes, but differ in their mechanism. Sonic toothbrushes vibrate, rather than spin. Both are equally effective and emit roughly the same amount of power and are rechargeable.

There are many options to select from in selecting either an oscillating/rotating or sonic toothbrush, all with their own bells & whistles such as digital reminders, toothbrushes specialized for whitening or sensitive teeth, and even gum-massaging action.

Battery Powered Electric Toothbrushes

If you want extra power, but are skeptical of powered, rechargeable electric toothbrushes, then battery-powered toothbrushes are a great option. They are similar in design to manual toothbrushes, but are battery-operated (AA battery) & vibrate for a pulsating effective clean.

Electric Has Been Clinically Proven to be Better

No matter the choice of electric toothbrush you select, the fact remains that both options are considerably more effective than regular manual toothbrushes, as documented by various studies. This doesn’t mean manual toothbrushes do not work, but simply that they are not as efficient.

To put this efficiency into perspective, let’s compare 1 minute of brushing with both options. Using an electric toothbrush – depending on the brand – you will receive an output of roughly 6,000 – 30,000 strokes per minute. That’s an effective clean.

5 Fun Ways to Motivate Children to Brush Their Teeth

Fun Ways to Motivate Child to Brush TeethGetting children to diligently brush their teeth can be a difficult habit to cultivate, and is usually accompanied with varying degrees of frustration. And with the media suggesting that one in eight children aged three suffers from dental caries, it is certainly important that you find ways to encourage your children to clean their teeth.

Kids love games and fun things. So, here are a few tips to get your child excited about brushing his/her teeth.

1. Lead by example

Children love to imitate what other people do, which makes leading by example a great way to cultivate great habits that last a lifetime. Prepare a routine so you can brush your teeth together twice a day, showing them how to clean those hard to reach areas. You also get the chance to educate them on the importance of cleaning their teeth.

2. A 2-Minute brushing song

Your children should enjoy brushing their teeth if there is a catchy song playing in the background. The song could be provided by an app or something that you come up with depending on what your child likes. Music is a fantastic way to motivate kids to do something.

3. A timed game

Use a stopwatch or kitchen timer to play a racing game with your child. Set the timer to two minutes and challenge your kid to finish brushing at the same time as the countdown. You can even buy kids toothbrushes that play songs that enable kids to keep brushing for the entire two minutes.

4. Super hero fan

Something as simple as a piece of cloth or towel nicely fitted in your child’s garment can turn him/her into a cavity crusader. Brushing their teeth is their only weapon in the fight against evil germs to save their precious crowns. Buying a toothbrush with your son or daughter’s most favorite cartoon/movie character or super hero to give them a fighting partner can enhance this feeling.

5. A reward system

You can also create a sticker chart or use an app that collects points each time your child completes the task of brushing their teeth, with an award once they reach a certain point. You could arrange the rewards such that he/she gets a new toothbrush every 3 months.

It is recommended that parents start brushing their kids’ teeth twice a day immediately the first milk tooth emerges, which is at the age of 6 months. From the age of three to six years, you can start using a smear of the family toothpaste so the fluoride can help protect new teeth (at 1,350 – 1500 parts per million-ppm-of fluoride). Encourage them to brush for 2 minutes, and supervise them till the age of seven or eight.

Do You Have Bleeding Gums?

Bleeding Gums
It’s never a great sign when blood is present. For our teeth and gums, this is no different. If you notice blood after performing your daily oral care duties such as brushing and flossing, then you may have a deeper issue. We’ll help you discern the different possibilities that bleeding gums may be indicative of.

Bleeding Gums Causes

Gum Disease

Now, before you panic, gum disease is a lot more common than you think. It also happens to be a disease that can be easily addressed with the right treatment and follow up at home.

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease. It is actually the earliest form of gum disease and the main symptom is of course… bleeding gums. During this period, the damage can be easily reversed. Provided you follow up with your doctor and stay on top of your oral hygiene habits.

Too Rough

A common occurrence is improper brushing and flossing technique; specifically, brushing or flossing too hard. Our gums are sensitive. When we apply too much pressure to them with floss or a toothbrush, they will respond by producing blood. This doesn’t mean you have gum disease, it just means you need to be more gentle.

Pro tip: Replace your toothbrush often to avoid hard bristles, which would also cause your gums to bleed.


Sometimes, bleeding gums has nothing to do with gum disease or oral care technique, but rather medications that you may be taking. Blood thinner medication almost always results in bleeding gums. Consult with your doctor if it starts to become worrisome.


For pregnant mothers, bleeding gums may be a symptom due to the hormonal changes that take place during this time. This is called “pregnancy gingivitis”. The good news is that once pregnancy is over, the problem should correct itself.

Addressing the Cause

Once you’ve determined the cause, the treatment becomes clear. We wouldn’t classify bleeding gums as an alarming issue, but it most certainly is an issue that should be addressed sooner than later. It’s equally as important to visit your dentist twice a year for best hygiene results.

Read about our Periodontal Therapy for Treatment of Gum Disease.