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Home > Dental Conditions > Mouth Problems >  The A to Z Guide to Mouth Problem Causes
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The A-Z Guide to Mouth Problems’ Causes

Mouth problems causes: Problems in the mouth from abscess to zymurgy.

When it comes to mouth problems causes, how do you identify the instigators of pain, discomfort and disease in your oral cavity? Sore mouth problems and obvious dental pain like wisdom teeth problems indicate an imperative to visit the dentist immediately; while the relatively painless but still annoying dry mouth problem or other issues may hatch more insidious plots to deconstruct dentition.

You might be surprised to know what seemingly harmless day-to-day items cause problems in the mouth -- everything from diet to lifestyle habits all play a part. See the A to Z list below for clues that you may be the unwitting host of a periodontal disease party or directing other forms of dental demolition, no matter how well you brush and floss


Abscess - When tooth decay advances to this stage, a severe mouth problem occurs because of infected tooth pulp. Don't let laziness and excess lead to problems in the mouth like tooth abscess!

Alcohol Abuse - Dental mouth problems for alcoholics include gingivitis (82 percent for one group studied, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association), heavy plaque accumulation (over 66 percent) and missing teeth (15 percent).

Amalgam - Liquid mercury mixed with silver, tin or copper powders, used to make fillings and crown platforms. Amalgam causes mouth problems when it falls out of place, re-exposing cavities to further decay. Amalgam tends to remain strong but is not invincible.

Avulsion - A tooth loose through physical trauma or planned dental extractions, the revulsion of avulsion can lead to the lowering of your "hottie" factor.


Bad Breath - Vulture vapors from your mouth may indicate gum disease such as gingivitis or its more serious offspring like periodontitis and other mouth problems causes.

Biting Badly - Malocclusion may lead to loose teeth and cracked teeth because of bad alignment. Other problems in the mouth and jaws also result, causing pain, cavities or missing teeth. If you're going to bite, do it right!

Bitterness - Taste, not outlook. Dental mouth problems like bad tastes may accompany burning mouth syndrome (BMS) or gum diseases.

Bada-BLING - Don't pinch pennies when it comes to decking out your pie hole. Cheap grills may irritate your sensitive kisser. Also, be sure to brush teeth and clean your bling thoroughly to avoid decay and other mouth problems causes. A probable relationship exists between the cha-ching of your bling and oral sting.

Beat Up Bridges - Like your regular teeth, clean them or lose them. Since they mimic your natural dentition, a lack of care leads to problems in the mouth and jaw.

Broken/Chipped/Cracked Teeth - Broken teeth may or may not cause pain as well as other dental mouth problems, depending on the severity of damage. See your dentist for broken tooth repair.

Brushing Abrasively or Hardly - All things in moderation, even good things!  Brushing too hard and more than thrice daily may make your gums recede and lead to a host of other mouth problems causes. Brushing less than twice per day and for less than two minutes each time may lead to those same dental mouth problems.

Bruxism - Teeth grinding at night or due to stress, causes wear and tear on your protective enamel and dental structure. Sore mouth problems result from cavities, pressured gums and temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ or TMD). Seek dental help and find your emotional equilibrium as soon as possible.


Candidiasis, Canker Sores and Cold Sores - Let's be candid: Problems in the mouth like candidiasis is a yeast infection (oral thrush) that manifests as white patches in the mouth. Canker sores have white or gray bases with red borders and appear inside your mouth, while cold sores present outside of the mouth.

Caries Are Cavities - Need we say more about these mouth problems causes? Disease, pain, potential abscess ... caries aren't candy but they may be caused by it.

Challenged Chewing - Have an ache in the craw? Has plaque put your jaw out of whack? Pain and misalignment may indicate cavity, gum disease or temporomandibular joint disorders to name a few sore mouth problems.

Cleanliness and the Lack Thereof - Brush two or three times daily and floss at least once per day to evade most problems in the mouth.

Crumbling Crowns - In the apolitical sense, we refer to dental devices used to cover large cavities and fillings, attach a tooth bridge, cover discoloration and implants or protect weak teeth as crowns. If a dental crown goes, those other mouth problems reappear like debilitating bipartisan politics.


Decay and Early Tooth Death - It's declining with public awareness of oral hygiene and water fluoridation, but still manages to rear its ugly head. Down with decay and other problems in the mouth!

Dentures - Fitted badly or cleaned sporadically, your dentures may cause sore mouth problems faster than the clickety-clack sound of wind-up falsies sold in joke stores.

Diabetes - Studies suggest diabetes lowers your resistance to infection and other mouth problems, according to the American Dental Association.

Diet - Regular snacking (especially carbohydrates) delivers acid to your teeth more frequently - a practical guarantee of problems in the mouth. A lack of minerals (like fluoride) and nutrients may soften teeth, give rise to infection and deteriorate bone.

Dry Mouth Problems - Saliva keeps oral germs (and therefore, dental mouth problems causes) at bay. Spit deficient people may experience dehydration from certain drugs or from disease.

Dry Socket - A common complication of tooth removal, these mouth problems occur when blood clots dislodge from tooth extraction sites and prohibit healing.


Eating Disorders - Repeated vomiting brings a steady supply of stomach acid to tooth enamel and other problems in the mouth.

Edentulism - Losing all of your teeth may eliminate some mouth problems like cavity, but invite others.

Eruptions - Sore mouth problems like eruptions cause teething pain; a really bad bargain when it comes to impacted wisdom teeth. It's also not fun for parents of young children or the children themselves.

Extractions - The last resort in the tooth-saving campaign. Beware dental mouth problems causes like slow healing during tooth extraction aftercare. Clean your mouth carefully, avoid smoking and watch where you chew.


Fangs - File this one under bling. Elongated canines tend to cause sore mouth problems along the lips and inner cheek areas.

Fillings - Amalgams, ceramics, metals and polymers all make up strong and sometimes aesthetically appealing fillings, but none are fool-proof. Glass and resin ionomers in particular do not hold up to stress, exposing teeth to problems in the mouth.

Flossing Insufficiencies - Floss once a day to keep dental mouth problems at bay!

Fluoride Deficiencies - Mouth problems causes like a lack of the mineral fluoride leads to tooth decay.


Gingivitis & Other Gum Diseases - Tissues supporting teeth become infected when not cleaned properly, causing sore mouth problems. You can reverse gingivitis, but its more potent complication, periodontitis, is a lot more difficult to wrangle into submission.


Halitosis is NOT your Friend - Socially, Hal undermines your friendships. Biologically, halitosis may indicate dry mouth problems, gum disease and tooth decay.


Implants - Not the silicone variety (which causes a host of other problems including embarrassing noises) but the dental kind, as in dental implants. You should take care of these the way you care for your natural teeth to avoid sore mouth problems.

Infection - Usually caused by gum disease and improper care after extractions, mouth problems resulting from infection lead the way for other dental issues as well.


Jaws of Pain & Jarred Joints - Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs or TMJs) indicate misalignments of your jaw joints or worn down bone structure. Dental mouth problems causes like TMJ include clicking sounds as you open/close your mouth, pain while chewing, bruxism and more.


K-I-S-S-I-N-G! - "First comes LOVE! Then comes GUM DISEASE!" Possibly, according to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Periodontal bacteria may migrate from the tongue or in saliva, but whether or not gingivitis takes root depends on the hygiene habits of the recipient and many other factors. If you're kissing a lot, watch out for problems in the mouth like periodontitis and malocclusion, as well as outer mouth problems like cold sores.

Knockouts - Avulsion revulsion rears its ugly head. Is it worse to lose teeth to dental hygiene laziness or because of physical injury? You decide. Wear the right sporting equipment, and avoid brawls.


Latex Love and Hate - Habitual exposure to latex may cause latex allergies. Unfortunately, your dentist and his/her dental staff must wear rubber gloves when working on your mouth problems, which may cause some irritation.

Leukoplakia - Common for tobacco users, patients with leukoplakia form thick, white patches inside cheeks or on the gums or tongue. Sore mouth problems arise from irritated denture wear and constant, one-sided chewing. Leukoplakia may lead to oral cancer.


Medications & Methamphetamines - Some medications are necessary, but methamphetamines are not. Both legal and illegal drugs spawn dental mouth problems. Pharmaceuticals may cause xerostomia, or dry mouth, and eventual decay - while crystal meth seems to take a wrecking ball to your teeth. Alert your dentist if your prescriptions change. And get off the illicit stuff.

Mouth-maiming Guards - If improperly fit, you must acquit! Custom mouth guards provide better protection in athletics and in sleep, if you're a jaw-grinder. Avoid sore mouth problems causes with good guards.

Mouth Sores - Due to everything from fungal and viral infections to protruding orthodontal wires, broken teeth, bad bling and more. See your dentist to identify the source of persistent mouth problems.


Nicotine - Nicotine causes addiction, but it's the method of delivery that creates dental mouth problems. Smoking and chewing cause mouth and throat cancer, dry mouth, decay and other dooming oral outlooks for too many people to be discounted.

Nutrition - A lack of necessary vitamins and minerals depletes your enamel. Eating too many carbohydrates without teeth cleaning afterwards also play a role in decay and sore mouth problems.


Oral Cancer - See your dentist for early detection of mouth cancer symptoms and pre-cancerous conditions. If you spot sores that won't heal, leukoplakia, discolored tissues, or other suspicious mouth problems see your dentist immediately.

Oral Piercings - Your cool factor may increase your drool factor, but in a bad way. Problems in the mouth arise from swelling, infection, misguided needles, chipped teeth, blood poisoning and more.

Osteonecrosis - Severe loss and destruction in the jawbone, sometimes due to taking bisphosphonate medications to reduce bone pain. Always consult your dentist when you change meds to avoid sore mouth problems.


Partials - Forcing those partials back in place may break clasps and improper cleaning leads to unhealthy gums. Your dentist may recommend new partials as you age. Do-it-Yourselfers, please refrain from making your own adjustments and instigating your own, avoidable dental mouth problems!

Plaque Attacks - Sticky bacteria films harden into plaque or calculus, and most of us know how hard calculus is!  Buildups of plaque and calculus lead to mouth problems causes of the decaying kind.

Pregnancy - Pregnancy begets snacking between meals and hormonal changes, both of which beget problems in the mouth like pregnancy toothache. If you're begetting, don't be forgetting: Pay extra attention to nutrition and oral hygiene.


Qualms & Quakes - Stress, nervous conditions and anger may cause sore mouth problems from grinding the teeth at night, or bruxism problems. Bruxism may lead to structural damage in the gums, teeth and jaws.


Rebel Roots - Take care of the soft pulp of your teeth. Infected roots cause nerve and vessel damage and may eventually burrow holes in the jawbones. Sore mouth problems like these send you running to an endodontist for a root canal.

Rubber - See Latex Love & Hate for mouth problems of a rubbery nature.


Severed Sealants - When you blow a dental sealant, you probably won't know. Regular dental exams should detect deterioration. Beware mouth problems like increased sensitivity, growing cracks and the pain of cavity, indicating your sealant defected a long time ago and you didn't even notice. Poor sealant.

Sores - Beware the big Cs: candidiasis, canker and cold sores and cancer. The first three may ebb and flow with your overall health and hygiene habits, but sores that won't heal may constitute a dental mouth problem that requires professional attention immediately.

Sparse Saliva - See Dry Mouth Problems.


Teeth Grinding - Also known as bruxism, sore mouth problems because of this bad habit cause jaw pain and general wear and tear inside the mouth.

Teething - Mouth problems causes from eruptions are no fun for parents or babies, causing sleeplessness and irritability. They also may spawn eruption cysts or watery sacs where the tooth makes its exit from the gum world. These are normal and should be left alone.

TMD & TJM - Sore mouth problems accompanied by clicking noises, general facial or head pain, bad bites (malocclusion) and pain while chewing flag this dysfunction. See a dentist or oral surgeon for relief.

Thumb Sucking - Though soothing at first, aggressive thumb sucking become causes of malocclusions and other dental mouth problems. Children generally stop between the ages of 2 and 4, according to the ADA.


Upstart Uvula - A swollen uvula (that flap of skin that points the way to your throat by hanging from the soft palate) sometimes causes excessive snoring and sleep apnea. Snoring (and mouth breathing in general) causes dry mouth problems, which are not conducive to your oral health!


Veneers - A shell placed on the front of your teeth to cover some unsightly mouth problems, veneers occasionally chip or crack.


Water - Avoid the bottled stuff which generally has lower fluoride contents, leaving your enamel prone to dental mouth problems.

Whiteners - Home teeth whitening trays and solutions may irritate the soft tissues. Dentists protect these tissues with rubber shields (alert your dentist to latex allergies) or a covering gel to avoid sore mouth problems.

Wisdom Teeth - The third molars may come in sideways, bumping into other teeth, or only partially erupt from the gums. Fluid-filled sacs around wisdom teeth may erode the jaw bones. Dental mouth problems from misguided wisdom teeth tend to produce great pain.


Xerostomia - Dry mouth problems may come from medications, alcohol and tobacco use, snoring, hormonal changes (particularly for women), various bodily diseases and more. Remember, when the well goes dry, your mouth lacks the saliva necessary to wash away acids and bacteria. This mouth problem usually signals gum disease.


Yawning Spawning Pain - This could be a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ or TMD. Dental mouth problems associated with TMJ are usually temporary. Avoid yawning widely and excessively, and constant (gum) chewing.


Zymurgy - Zymurgy deals with fermentation, particularly in wine-making or brewing. And believe it or not, your dental plaque ferments to promote cavity production and brews up gum disease and other problems in the mouth.

Get Help!

If you experience these or other mouth problems, please contact your dentist.

To find a dentist, please call us at 1-866-970-0441.

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