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Mouth Diseases

Painful palate

07/15/2008

Question:

I have been experiencing pain in the roof of my mouth for the last several days, just behind my front teeth. The pain feels like I have just burned the roof of my mouth. I know I noticed this feeling after eating a handful of m&m`s last week, but it has escalated to where I can hardly eat from the sensativity of the pain. There is no visual evidence of injury. The pain brings tears to my eyes several times a day and leaves my jaw throbbing for severaly minutes afterward. Particularly after rinsing the area with salt water or listerine. But I continue to do this several times a day in case an infection is impending. Any thoughts? If it helps, I am a 45 y.o. female with a pretty good dental hygeine regimine. Thank you for considering my dilemma.

Answer:

If the pain is that severe, you should see your dentist or primary care physician.

Without seeing you and examining the site and surrounding teeth, I can only speculate on what is occurring.

Based upon your reported time line of events, I would rule out the following;

1. Trauma (Hard foods such as carrots, chicken or pork bones, even hard crackers or chips can “bruise” and irritate the anterior palate.)

2. Allergy (Chocolate or other chemicals such as cinnamon), lichnoid reaction.

3. Neuropathic pain (HSV, VZV infection, or other neurogenic-mediated adverse responses)

4. Ulceration of palate, based upon the pain reaction to salt water and Listerine (alcohol) rinses

5. Periodontal disease (verify by radiograph, perio probing, examination)

6. Pulpal pathology (pulpitis) (verify by radiograph, pulp testing and history)

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University