Read below about mouth pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your mouth pain from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Mouth Pain

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced mouth pain. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Gingivitis

    Gingivitis is the infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is caused by plaque and/or tartar that has built up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky layer of gunk made by food particles, mucus, and bacteria. After a while, plaque hardens to become tartar (or calculus). Plaque and tartar at the bottom of the teeth causes the gums to become irritated and infected.

    Great, with dental care and improvement in dental hygiene

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    bleeding gums, gum pain, gum swelling, gum redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Oral Herpes

    Herpetic stomatitis is a viral infection of the mouth that causes fever and red and inflamed gums. This typically happens early in childhood.

    1-2 weeks but recurrent

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, gum pain, painful mouth sore, gum swelling, gum redness
    Symptoms that always occur with oral herpes:
    gum pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Melanoma of the Mouth

    Mucosal melanoma of the head and neck (MMHN) is a rare cancer that is approximately 10% of melanomas arising in the head and neck and approximately 1% of all malignant melanomas. It is more common in an elderly population and has a poor prognosis.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    gum pain, gum swelling, brown-colored skin changes, black-colored skin changes, mouth rash resembling an amalgam tattoo
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Mouth Pain Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having mouth pain.

    Mouth Pain Quiz
  4. 4.Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (Anug)

    Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) is a relatively rare infection of the gums. It's also known as "trench mouth", as it was discovered in a large number of soldiers in WWI that were stuck in trenches. The pain caused by ANUG is what makes it different from chronic periodontitis, and it requires treatment by professionals.

    Good prognosis with treatment. Without treatment, ANUG can become recurrent and chronic.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    bleeding gums, gum pain, chronically bad breath, severe mouth pain, gum swelling
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  5. 5.Cold Sore

    Cold sores (also called oral herpes or fever blisters), are viral infections of the mouth caused by the herpes virus type 1. You were probably infected very early in life as a child when an adult kissed you. The virus stays asleep (dormant) and causes infections every now and then after exposure to lots of sun or emotional/physical stress. It is contagious when an outbreak is happening, but treatment is limited unless you are immunocompromised.

    1-2 weeks. Natural healing process starts within 24 hours of the initial sore starting.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    mouth lesions, itchy mouth, pain on the outside of the lips, lip numbness, burning pain on the outside of the lips
    Symptoms that always occur with cold sore:
    mouth lesions
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Burning Mouth Syndrome

    Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic pain syndrome defined as having a burning pain or sensation in your mouth without a cause that can be found. It happens way more often in women (7 times more likely), typically during times of hormonal changes (just before or during menopause). While no one has identified the cause, it could have to do with the makeup of saliva, damage from dentures, tics or teeth grinding, infections, and even autoimmune diseases.

    23.8% have moderate improvement with treatment. 49% see no improvement. 18.9% get worse over time. 3% of people will have it go away on its own.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dry mouth, changed sense of taste, tongue pain, burning sensation in the mouth, moderate mouth pain
    Symptoms that always occur with burning mouth syndrome:
    burning sensation in the mouth, tongue pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Dry Socket (Postextraction Alveolar Osteitis)

    Dry socket (or postextraction alveolar osteitis) is a common cause of severe pain after a dental extraction (tooth pull). It's known to be related to how the extraction was done, menstrual cycle, tobacco smoking, age, sex, and whether you have had an extraction before.

    You need to be seen by a dentist after initial treatment. Prognosis is good, though. If untreated, pain can last 10-40 days.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant mouth pain, chronically bad breath, changed sense of taste, severe mouth pain, mouth pain at the site of a dental procedure
    Symptoms that always occur with dry socket (postextraction alveolar osteitis):
    mouth pain at the site of a dental procedure, constant mouth pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Mouth Pain

  • Q.Where specifically is your mouth pain?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS?
  • Q.Do you have a rash?
  • Q.Does your breath smell worse than usual?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our mouth pain symptom checker to find out more.

Mouth Pain Quiz

Mouth Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced mouth pain have also experienced:

    • 8% Jaw Pain
    • 7% Headache
    • 7% Eye Pain
  • People who have experienced mouth pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 47% Less Than a Week
    • 27% Less Than a Day
    • 11% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced mouth pain were most often matched with:

    • 50% Melanoma of the Mouth
    • 37% Gingivitis
    • 12% Oral Herpes
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having mouth pain

Mouth Pain Quiz