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What causes pain on my lower front teeth?

woman with tooth pain

What causes pain on my lower front teeth?

Tooth pain affects millions of people every day and can be incredibly disturbing and discomforting. However, there’s good news: In most cases, a high-quality dentist can figure out what is causing your tooth pain and work with you to find a way to cure it. There are many common reasons why your lower front teeth would be bothering you, including TMJ, bruxism, and more. Furthermore, if you live in the West Hollywood area, you can always call West Hollywood Best Dentist, Dr. Bruce Vafa.

TMJ Disorders

TMJ is short for your temporomandibular joint. This is a very important joint in your head which connects your jawbone to your skull. Unfortunately, it is also a source of constant pain and problems for many people.

TMJ disorders can occur for many reasons, including wear-and-tear, injuries, arthritis, genetics, a poor diet, and more. It can be exceptionally painful. Common symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Pain or soreness in your face, particularly along the jaw or in spot by your teeth. Movement can make this pain worse.
  • Difficulty opening your mouth as wide as possible.
  • A clicking or popping sound when you move your jaw, often accompanied by extreme pain.

TMJ disorders can directly lead to toothaches by causing pain in the jaw and along the gums, and this is a relatively common cause of pain in your lower teeth. There are treatments for TMJ disorders, including prescription medication or dental work. In extreme cases, surgery can be used to relieve the pain caused by TMJ.

[See: What is TMJ? ]


Bruxism is a painful condition that millions of us are all-too-familiar with. It occurs when you grind your teeth, either when conscious or unconscious. For most people, this occurs when they are sleeping and often appears with other sleep-related disorders, like sleep apnea or snoring.

Stress is a relatively common reason for suffering from this disorder, but certainly not the only one. Other factors include genetics, anxiety disorders, or suffering from other sleep conditions.

More common symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Waiting up with a stiff or sore jaw or teeth. The area of pain in your mouth can vary, but if you grind a certain way, bruxism can absolutely be responsible for pain in your lower teeth.
  • Wearing down of your teeth or the enamel around your teeth. In the long run, this can cause serious problems in your jaw and with your mouth. It can also lead to broken or chipped teeth.
  • Jaw pain, soreness, or tenderness. Bruxism can even lead to headaches or earaches, as the pain from your jaw tends to radiate outward and upward into your head.
  • Problems sleeping.

The good news about this disorder is that it is highly treatable. Many milder forms don’t need any invasive treatment. However, if it is severe enough to cause tooth damage or pain, your dentist may fit you with a mouthguard. This guard can prevent your teeth from grinding against each other while you sleep. If a mouth guard doesn’t work, there are other treatment alternatives, including muscle relaxants or botox injections.

Mouthguards can often be uncomfortable or difficult to get used to. As such, your dentist may recommend that you first purchase an over-the-counter mouth guard, in order to confirm that you will actually be able to sleep with the mouth guard in.

Preventing bruxism with a mouth guard is significantly less painful and less expensive than repairing damage after the fact. Bruxism can damage your teeth and necessitate the need for expensive dental repair work.

Infected Gums

Gum infection, or gingivitis, happens when you have gum disease. If you have an infected gum, the gum which connects your teeth to your mouth and jaw can become tender or inflamed. It is also very likely to bleed, particularly when you chew, floss, or brush your teeth.

Gum disease is often preventable: Regular flossing and tooth brushing can help to cut down on your odds of acquiring gum disease. Genetics can often be responsible for gum disease, as can a poor diet, smoking, or taking certain types of medication.

Of course, since your gums are connected to your teeth and mouth, gum disease can be the cause of extensive mouth and tooth pain, including pain in your lower front teeth.

Milder forms of gum disease can be reversed and prevented by regular flossing and brushing of your teeth, as well as professional cleaning by a dentist. In more extreme cases, medication or surgery may be necessary.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

In some cases, nerve damage can be responsible for the pain you are feeling in your teeth.

One disorder, in particular, can be responsible for the pain you are feeling in your lower front teeth: Trigeminal Neuralgia. Trigeminal Neuralgia is a disorder that affects your trigeminal nerve.

You probably haven’t heard of this nerve – indeed, most of us haven’t, unless something goes wrong with it. The Trigeminal nerve brings sensation and feeling from your face to your brain. If you have Trigeminal Neuralgia, you may notice that your face suffers mild to extreme pain at even the slightest touch. This can be particularly problematic for your teeth, including your lower front teeth.

Over time Trigeminal Neuralgia tends to get worse. The pain may start as milder, but grow more and more discomforting and extreme. Direct movement of your face, jaw, or teeth tends to make this pain worse, and the pain can be brief or last for up to several minutes. Indeed, it is often directly triggered by chewing, moving your face, brushing your teeth, or even shaving.

A medical professional will diagnosis Trigeminal Neuralgia after an examination. From there, you will each decide on a course of treatment, which can involve prescription medication, injections, or surgery.

Thankfully, though this disorder is painful, it is rarer than issues like bruxism, gum disease, or TMJ disorders.

If you are suffering from lower front tooth pain, or have any questions about problems with your teeth, mouth, or jaw, you don’t have to simply wait out the pain and suffer. A professional dentist can help determine what is causing the pain and find ways to assist you in recovering. If you live in the Hollywood area, make sure to visit West Hollywood Best Dentist, Dr. Bruce Vafa. Dr. Vafa has extensive experience at helping people recover from a wide array of tooth, mouth, and jaw problems and can help you develop a treatment plan to reduce your pain and feel better.