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Dr. George McKee
Dr. George McKee, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1396
Experience:  Licensed dentist with 30 years clinical experience in general practice and cosmetic reconstruction.
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I have pain in my jaw that acts up mostly after eating

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I have pain in my jaw that acts up mostly after eating something with sugar. For example, sweeted oatmeal (cinnamon roll flavor) or ice cream. It''s not a tooth sensitivity issue as the pain generally comes on after several spoonfulls and might take a few minutes to come on and then generally lasts about 20 minutes. I just left the dentist and they said the xrays didn''t show anything but tapping on my teeth did result in more pain in the one tooth with a crown. The pain I get seems to radiate into both upper and lower right jaws. I have some TMJ, but the only symptoms/issues I have from that are popping and clicking of my jaw. This pain started on the evening of May 11th. The pain seems to also radiate up towards my right eye. I don''t always get it after eating, but it does seem to be worst if I eat sweets (refined sugars rather than fruits).

Dear ,

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

If you are sure that the pain comes on from eating just sweet things and not from chewing in general, then this is indicative of an active cavity or a filling that is breaking down and starting to leak. The latter will not show up on an X-ray. Older silver fillings are classic culprits of this kind of pain and only need to be at the initial stage of breakdown to initiate pain. Marginal tooth colored fillings can elicit the same kinds of pain, but more so with silver fillings.

The bacteria in your saliva that causes decay will congregate in the gap between the corroding filling and the tooth . When these bacteria are exposed to sugar, they metabolize it and convert it to an acidic material which, in turn, percolates into the deeper layers of the tooth where the nerve receptacles are, causing the pain.

You need to have your dentist take a closer look at your old fillings and replace the ones that show signs of breaking down.

I hope this answers your question. If you would like to discuss this further or have any additional questions, please reply to my answer and I will get right back to you.

Sincerely, ***** ***** DDS

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