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by JS Dental Lab |

Why Do My Teeth Feel Weird?

When your teeth don’t feel quite right, you might become nervous. After all, doesn’t that mean a painful and expensive dental procedure is necessary sometime soon?

Tooth discomfort naturally feels like a cause for alarm. But don’t worry, there’s no need to assume the worst until you fully understand the source of your issue!

While the best way to receive an accurate diagnosis for your condition is to visit a professional dentist, we’ll share common reasons your teeth might feel weird (and what to do about it). 

First, to understand the cause of your discomfort, start by pinpointing the type of sensation you’re experiencing. Also, consider the location of the concern. 

Which one of the following scenarios most accurately describes your experience?

Your Teeth Hurt

When you are experiencing tooth pain, it can be challenging to think of anything else!

Depending on the severity, a toothache can make essential functions such as chewing food, speaking, and even laying your head down to sleep excruciatingly painful. 

If your teeth hurt constantly, it may be so distracting that you begin to fall behind in your work or avoid social engagements. 

Is It Tooth Decay?

If your tooth pain occurs in one specific area, tooth decay (also known as a cavity) may have developed. Tooth decay typically occurs when a person consumes sugary, starchy, or acidic foods and beverages or has a less-regimented approach to their daily oral health routine. 

Did You Undergo a Dental Restoration Procedure in the Past? 

Acute pain in a particular tooth and the surrounding area can also mean a dental filling or crown is out of place and needs repair. 

If you underwent a dental restoration in the past, and that tooth or teeth are in pain, be sure to schedule a check-up with your dentist.

Is It Gum Disease?

General soreness in all or most of your teeth may be a side effect of periodontitis (gum disease). Risk factors for gum disease include genetics, poor diet, certain medications, and smoking. 

Is It Bruxism?

You might also have an undiagnosed condition called bruxism, which is chronic teeth grinding during the day or night. It usually manifests as a symptom of stress or a sleeping disorder. 

Want to try a natural solution first? Check out Can You Use Essential Oils for Teeth Grinding?

When Should I See My Dentist for Tooth Pain?

Suppose you are avoiding meals, having difficulty getting enough rest, or noticing any other type of tooth pain that disrupts your quality of life. In that case, you should take it seriously and visit a dentistry clinic. 

These problems can become worse over time, making the issue more challenging to treat and increasing the likelihood you’ll need major dental care procedures!

Ahead, we’ll continue to discuss why your teeth may feel weird and ways to help!

Your Teeth Feel Loose

If you lost all of your baby teeth a long time ago, you probably don’t expect to encounter loose permanent teeth! Understandably, it can be shocking if one or more of your permanent teeth begin to loosen or wiggle around. 

There are a few reasons your teeth might feel loose, but let’s discuss the three most common causes. 

Trauma

First, trauma can cause damage or destabilize the tooth’s position in the gumline. Dental injuries can occur due to physical events such as accidents, vehicle collisions, contact sports, assault, and work-related incidents. 

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Like with when your teeth hurt, bruxism (or teeth grinding) is another culprit for loose teeth. Over time, bruxism causes damage to the tooth enamel and structure. 

While bruxing typically affects you at night while you’re sleeping, it can also occur during the day. 

Gum Disease

A common cause of loose teeth is gum disease (periodontitis). And if this is progressing, bacteria increase, which can cause your gums to recede. 

It’s not a very pretty thought, but it is preventative!

After all, harmful bacteria thrive when you don’t keep up with a healthy oral health routine. 

Ensure you’re following preventative dental care techniques and have regular cleanings to prevent bacteria buildup as well as tartar (plaque). Tartar buildup can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and weakened teeth, making them feel loose and eventually resulting in tooth loss. 

Your Teeth Feel Gritty, Slimy, or Itchy

Gritty teeth may be due to sugary, starchy food and beverages that allow bacterial growth. If you eat or drink sugary treats without brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, you may notice that your teeth have a gritty, slimy, or fuzzy feeling. 

If you are experiencing an itching sensation, it’s your gums that are probably the problem. The same bacteria that erodes tooth enamel and leads to cavities is also the cause of gum disease

Without a proper oral hygiene routine, plaque remains at the gum line and causes irritation that can make your gums itch or sting. 

Related: Why is My Night Guard Turning Yellow?

Your Teeth Feel Tight

Two toothbrushes in a glass jar

Feeling pressure or tightness in your teeth could indicate that your teeth are misaligned and crowded. Without preventative measures, crowding occurs naturally due to age, health, and lifestyle factors. 

Among the most common reasons for feeling tightness in the teeth is bruxism (teeth grinding). Yes, like gum disease, bruxism is a common cause for several reasons why your teeth may feel weird!

You may not think that bruxism is a cause of tooth discomfort. But consider how experts know that stress often triggers unintentional bruxism and jaw clenching. Aren’t we all a little stressed from time to time?! 

Unfortunately, if left untreated, bruxism can cause severe dental health issues, like tooth decay, gum disease, and increased tooth sensitivity. 

Your Teeth are Sensitive

Do your teeth only feel weird when you consume particular food or drinks? 

You’re not alone: tooth sensitivity is a widespread issue that makes it challenging to enjoy beverages and hot or cold foods, even within an average temperature range. 

How Can I Avoid Tooth Sensitivity?

People who suffer from tooth sensitivity often report the sudden onset of sharp pain when they eat or drink everyday favorites, like coffee, tea, or ice cream. 

Although it’s not as common, tooth sensitivity can also happen in response to flavors. For example, you might trigger tooth pain if you eat sweet, tangy, spicy, or acidic foods. 

Whatever the case may be, sensitivity to food and beverages is a symptom of weakened tooth enamel. This is crucial as our enamel serves as the barrier that protects your teeth from harmful bacteria!

If you have sensitive teeth, cut back on foods like:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Desserts, candy, and soft drinks
  • Sugary snacks or foods containing corn syrup
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Refined carbohydrates (white bread, crackers, pasta)

You can also be at risk for developing tooth sensitivity if you aren’t diligent about your oral health habits, smoke, or have a family history of the condition. 

If you’re unsure about your family’s dental health history, now is the time to ask someone of the older generation!

How is Tooth Discomfort Treated?

Luckily, there are several treatment options for addressing tooth discomfort, but the right approach depends on your specific condition. 

To get an accurate diagnosis and learn about the appropriate treatment plan, you should consult a professional dentist. 

For now, let’s discuss a few of the remedies they may suggest based on the nature of your discomfort. 

Tooth Pain

Until you visit your dentist for a consultation, try the following at-home remedies:

  • Saltwater rinses
  • Oral pain relief gel
  • Over-the-counter pain medications
  • Avoiding certain foods 

Keep in mind: some conditions like a cavity, infected or cracked tooth, abscess, and infected gums resulting from gingivitis can become increasingly painful the longer you wait to seek dental care. The quicker you see your dental specialist, the better!

Gritty Teeth and Gums That Sting, Itch, or Tingle

Mild, temporary discomforts, like when your teeth feel gritty or slimy and itchy, swollen gums, are usually issues with straightforward solutions. These can mean you may have irritation and inflammation from bacteria. 

First of all, the easiest way to get rid of minor tooth and gum discomfort is prevention! Maintain an oral health routine that includes daily brushing and flossing, as well as adding a fluoridated mouthwash if your dentist says it’s right for you. 

Also, drink some water when you have dry mouth to wash away bacteria.

Because bacteria cause plaque (tartar) buildup, it may eventually lead to tooth decay and problematic gum disease. For this reason, it’s essential to address even minor concerns before they become a more serious dental problem!

Loose Teeth

See your dental professional if your teeth feel loose. It’s a sign that you could be grinding your teeth (bruxism) and clenching your jaw. These are symptoms that can eventually lead to complications in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ or TMD). 

Dentists and orthodontists often treat loose adult teeth and TMJ with aligners or custom mouth guards to protect against bruxism. More severe cases may require procedures like tooth splinting for stabilization, bone grafting, or flap surgery in cases of severe gum disease. 

If your loose tooth results from severely infected gum tissue, your dental care provider will most likely recommend a deep cleaning. This procedure eliminates infections that occur deeper than the gum pocket where traditional tools can’t reach. 

Pressure or Tightness

Feeling pressure or tightness in one or more of your teeth might be an early warning sign of teeth grinding. 

Your provider can recommend reliable go-to solutions for mild symptoms to avoid more severe problems (like tooth damage and TMJ disorders) in the future:

  • Custom dental mouth guards
  • Alignment trays or braces
  • Stress relief
  • Behavioral therapy

Tooth Sensitivity

You can sometimes address sensitive teeth at home depending on the severity and cause of the condition. For example, you may use specialty toothpaste and mouth rinses to help restore your protective tooth enamel. 

Twice-daily brushing and flossing paired with regular dental cleanings are optimal to avoid enamel erosion caused by tartar buildup. 

In some cases, you may always need to avoid certain foods and drinks that trigger discomfort and could potentially worsen your tooth sensitivity. 

Since bruxism (teeth grinding) is a prevalent cause of tooth sensitivity, you may be able to improve your current condition and prevent it from worsening. 

How? By trying a night guard or mouth guard that will protect your tooth enamel. 

What Should I Do When My Teeth Feel Weird?

A doctor looking at dental x-rays

If your teeth feel weird for any reason, the best way to understand the problem and learn how to fix it is to see a dentist as soon as possible, especially if the problem is persistent or becomes worse. 

While the information provided by reliable sources can be helpful, don’t attempt to self-diagnose your condition in this manner! 

Informative articles only intend to answer questions you may have about your symptoms, potential causes, and treatments that your dentist may recommend.  

Nothing should replace the expertise of a trained medical professional! 

Depending on the exact cause of your discomfort, your dentist may instruct you to make lifestyle changes. Commit to quitting smoking, avoiding potentially harmful foods, and managing stress if your medical professional suggests such actions to improve an oral health condition. 

Learn how to keep your guard in tip-top shape with: How to Clean Your Mouth Guard

What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Dental Condition?

Some conditions aren’t considered severe and don’t require significant treatments. But before you know their cause, you should still take them seriously.

Seemingly minor issues such as gum irritation and tooth sensitivity can become serious if you don’t take action immediately. To avoid tooth decay, damage, and loss, be sure to address these concerns right away!

Don’t wait too long to pursue necessary procedures after your doctor or dentist makes a treatment recommendation. If you have budgetary concerns, speak with the dentistry practice and inquire about flexible payment plans or medical credit. 

In many cases, even minor dental irritations can develop into these severe medical conditions if you don’t seek treatment:

  • Tooth decay (cavities) 
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum disease (periodontitis, gingivitis) 
  • Jaw misalignment and joint arthritis/damage
  • Thrush or candidiasis (oral fungal infections)
  • Inflamed, irritated, or bleeding gums
  • Gum recession

How Can I Prevent Future Issues With My Teeth?

At JS Dental Lab, we’re happy to inform you that it’s absolutely possible to prevent future issues with your teeth! 

If your teeth feel weird, consider the various reasons and the solutions your dentist might suggest, as mentioned above.  

And, you might now be wondering how you can prevent future oral health concerns like tooth pain and irritated gums. 

Let’s dive into a few of the go-to methods experts recommend to avoid those painful (and expensive) dental procedures in the future!

Brush and Floss Twice Daily

Every expert agrees: proper flossing and brushing your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes have significant benefits to your oral and overall health. 

See Your Dentist Regularly

No, it’s not the hottest party of the year. But it will benefit your dental health long-term if you schedule appointments for professional teeth cleaning and dental checkups (every six months).  

Protect Your Teeth

We already mentioned brushing and flossing. Don’t forget about the other vital steps you should follow as part of your routine dental care.

These other crucial tips for sound dental hygiene include:

  • Do not share toothbrushes with partners or family members
  • Get a professional dental cleaning and checkup twice each year
  • Never skip brushing or flossing
  • Don’t eat or drink anything other than water after brushing your teeth at night
  • Upgrade to a custom mouth guard to protect against bruxism damage at any time of day
  • Replace your night guard if it appears to be damaged or showing signs of aging (such as discoloration)
  • Wear a mouth guard anytime you play contact sports or when you may be at risk for facial injuries

Conclusion

It can certainly be alarming to experience any discomfort with your teeth, whether severe or relatively tolerable. 

Regardless, it’s essential to understand the underlying cause and seek the appropriate treatment for your condition. The sooner, the better! You can prevent further complications and costly dental treatments by doing so. 

Refer back to this guide whenever it seems like your teeth feel weird. And, always consult your dentist before attempting to treat any concerns on your own. 

The simple intent of this article is to keep you informed of the possible causes, implications, or treatments for your symptoms (not to replace the kind of medical diagnosis your dentist can offer!) 

If you have questions about the information here or would like to learn more about our services, you can reach out to JS Dental Lab directly. We’re happy to do everything we can to assist you!