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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Tingling teeth

04/23/2007

Question:

Several times over the past 3 weeks my teeth have "tingled". It`s not always the same teeth. Each time, both upper and lower teeth have had this sensation. The first time, just about all the teeth had this sensation. It would last from between 10 to about 30 minutes. It is quite painful, and the sensation is definitely in the the teeth and not the gums. Yesterday it was the upper and lower front 2 teeth only. It`s always around 5:30PM on my way home from work, when I`m sitting on the train. It will often continue while I am walking home, and only stops with food or a large dose of Ambesol. What is causing this, and is there cause for alarm? Thank you.

Answer:

Ambesol is a topical anesthetic and should have little or no effect upon the teeth. There are several possibilities for the tingling. The timing would suggest it is somehow related to your daily work or other activities. You may be grinding your teeth due to work stress, but this normally causes tenderness and often is isolated to the same area of the mouth as it recurs. You did not mention if there are any changes in the gingival or the supporting structures of the teeth.

It would be best to visit your dentist and be evaluated and examined for this problem. If your dentist can not determine the cause of these sensations, ask to be referred to an oral pathologist. They often see patients that have unexplained symptoms and may have seen a case similar to yours.

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Response by:

D Stanley Sharples, DDS
Clinical Assistant Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University