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Nerve pain with braces



I am an adult and had braces put on in October 2009 to adjust my bite. Two of my front teeth are fine on xray and the braces and everything else look perfect. About a week ago, I started to get nerve pain when rinsing my mouth with Listerine or water, and now cold water sends me through the roof. I have a hard time biting anything, and of course, teeth are loosening and shifting. There was never any damage of any sort to the teeth. Can braces and subsequent movement of the teeth cause this type of issue? If so, will it get better? My dentist and orthodontist say that it all looks fine, and that it is a very rare occurrence, and have downplayed it. They did however, have me take the bands off to see if there was too much pressure being applied on the teeth. I know that I kept finding myself gripping my jaws together when wearing the bands. I am trying an over-the-counter desensitizer, but it hasn`t offered any relief.


By bands I assume you mean rubber elastics. They could cause discomfort so this should imporve if they discontinued the use temporarily. If that does not make things better, have them make a lower plastic splint to see if you are clenching or grinding your teeth. That also could cause the pain.

You need to keep a log of the pain as to duration (time) and amount on a scale of 1-10 and be as accurate as possible when you discuss this with your health care professionals. Sometimes pain medication is needed in orthodontics but not often.

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Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University