Resolving Pain From One Tooth Pushing Against Another

When one tooth pushes against another, the pressure that it causes can be uncomfortable. Some people may only experience mild discomfort that they can live with while others may find the pain excruciating and seek to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

But what causes this and what are the solutions to resolve the pain and discomfort of one tooth pushing against another. Fortunately, there are a variety of different ways that a dentist or orthodontist can help to solve the problem.

Causes Of One Tooth Pushing Against Another

1. Wisdom Teeth

One of the most common causes of teeth pushing against one another is when wisdom teeth start to come out. Wisdom teeth start pushing through gums anywhere between the ages of 17 and 25 years of age. They are situated right at the back of the mouth where there is generally not sufficient space for the tooth to comfortably erupt from the gum. This is called an impacted wisdom tooth and can be extremely painful.

The wisdom tooth creates pressure on the tooth next to it, and that tooth on the next tooth and so on and so forth. Discomfort can therefore often be felt in the front teeth situated furthest from where the wisdom tooth is located.

2. Adult Teeth

Teeth pushing against one another commonly occur in late childhood or puberty when the adult teeth have fully erupted but there is insufficient room in the mouth to accommodate them. This can result in overcrowding and a variety of alignment issues such as teeth that overlap or that are pushed inward or outward resulting in an overbite, underbite, crossbite or underjet.

Most often there is only mild discomfort associated with this problem. However, the misalignment can result in various other dental issues and correction is therefore generally advisable.

3. Injury

A physical injury or trauma to the mouth can result in one tooth pushing against another. This is however a rare cause but can result in mild to extreme discomfort.

4. Gums

When gums become swollen due to infection or an abscess forming, it can put pressure on one or more teeth. The swollen gum can push one tooth up against another. Although some pressure may be felt, it is often the gum infection or abscess that is responsible for the greatest pain and discomfort. Correcting a tooth pushing against another, or teeth pushing through gums, due to inflamed or swollen gums is often less complicated but may take time to resolve.

Solutions For One Tooth Pushing Against Another

1. Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The best way to alleviate the pressure and therefore the discomfort associated with wisdom teeth that have become impacted is extraction. Wisdom tooth extraction is considered to be the best solution as the tooth is not essential and the benefits far outweigh the risks involved with the surgery.

Wisdom tooth extraction is preferably performed under general anesthetic and there are risks involved. However, routine wisdom tooth extractions are performed every day without any negative consequences.

2. Adult Teeth

The solution for adult teeth is slightly more complicated when overcrowding is the cause of teeth pushing against one another. Most often orthodontic treatment and braces are the solution. While modern braces provide many different options that effectively correct misalignment and straighten teeth, the process will take some time.

If overcrowding is causing pain and discomfort or even more importantly, issues with alignment, a dentist will refer a patient to an orthodontist. The orthodontist will identify the best solution to the problem. While braces are more effective for older children or teens, they can also assist in alleviating pressure and correcting alignment issues in adults.

In extreme cases, where the space available is far too limited, an extraction may be the only course. This extraction may be performed under local anesthetic, sedation or general anesthetic depending on the severity of the problem and other factors that may be involved. Cosmetic and corrective dental techniques may then be used to fill the gap left behind by the tooth that has been removed. Bridges or implants may be used to replace the tooth that has been extracted.

3. Injuries

Trauma to the mouth that has resulted in an injury where one tooth pushes up against another can be resolved in a number of different ways depending on the nature of the injury. If the offending tooth has been damaged in any way (cracked or shifted), it may be recommended to pull or extract the it. Cosmetic dentistry procedures will then be performed to replace the damaged tooth.

However, it is important to note that extraction is considered to be a last resort in modern dentistry. If the extraction is not considered to be entirely necessary or if it there is another, less invasive solution, this is preferable and therefore recommended.

4. Swollen Gums

Inflamed or swollen gums are most commonly caused by infection or gum disease. The treatment is to eliminate the bacteria causing either of these conditions with antibiotics. However, a dentist may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling and painkillers to relieve the discomfort and pain associated with the conditions.

In the event that the cause of the swelling is an abscess and treatment with antibiotics is unsuccessful, a root canal treatment may be recommended. This is where the infected pulp in the tooth is removed and the remaining gap filled in order to remove the pressure on the nerve and alleviate the pain.

Once the swelling has been effectively eliminated, the pressure on the teeth should be relieved. Antibiotics can however take time to work and it could take a few days to a couple of weeks for the swelling to resolve entirely. However, anti-inflammatory medication will relieve the swelling while the antibiotics treat the infection.

In the event that gum diseases are the cause, a dentist may refer a patient to a periodontist for treatment.

One tooth pushing against another or teeth pushing through the gums can be uncomfortable or even extremely painful. It is recommended to visit a dentist as soon as possible to identify the cause and find a solution.

Comfort Care Dental

For more information about teeth pushing through gums, please call us at (08) 7523 3171