What Goes Beyond Cavities: Uncommon Conditions Your Dentist Can Diagnose

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We all have to go to the dentist, but it’s something very few people enjoy. There’s nothing pleasant about having your mouth poked and prodded and learning you have a cavity or two. But did you know that there are other, less common conditions that your dentist can diagnose? Read on to learn more about some of these conditions that affect your mouth, jaw, and lips.

TMJ Syndrome

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint syndrome, a condition that affects the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. This joint is responsible for the movement of your jaw when you eat, speak, and laugh. TMJ syndrome can cause pain in your jaw, ear, and neck, and it can also cause headaches. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about getting a diagnosis. They may recommend treatment like a mouthguard, physical therapy, or medication or refer you to a specialist such as Stobbe Family Dentistry, Implants, and Orthodontics.


Bruxism is a fancy term for teeth grinding. It’s a common problem, affecting up to 30 percent of adults. People who grind their teeth may experience headaches, jaw pain, and tooth damage. It can sometimes be challenging to diagnose bruxism, but your dentist can look for signs like worn down teeth or receding gums. They may recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep or exercises to help you relax your jaw muscles.

Angular Cheilitis

Angular cheilitis is a skin condition that affects the corners of your mouth. It’s caused by bacterial or fungal infection and is more common in people who wear dentures, have a weakened immune system, or have a vitamin deficiency. The condition is characterized by redness, cracking, and sometimes bleeding in the corners of the mouth. Your dentist can diagnose angular cheilitis and recommend treatment, which may include an anti-fungal cream or oral medication.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome is a chronic, painful condition that primarily affects women over the age of 50. The condition is characterized by a burning sensation in the mouth that can’t be attributed to any other medical condition. Some people with burning mouth syndrome may also experience a decreased sense of taste or a metallic taste. Your dentist can examine your mouth for any signs of damage or infection and may refer you to a specialist for additional treatment options.

Gum Infections

Gum infections are a common problem that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Symptoms include redness, swelling, bleeding, and bad breath. Your dentist can help diagnose gum infections and recommend treatment, which may include deep cleaning, medication, or surgery in severe cases.


Although cavities are a common dental issue, many other conditions can affect your mouth, jaw, and lips. You can get a diagnosis and effective treatment for these less common issues by speaking with your dentist. From TMJ syndrome to burning mouth syndrome, your dentist can help you understand what’s causing your symptoms and develop an appropriate treatment plan to get you back to feeling your best. So, next time you’re at the dentist’s office, don’t be afraid to ask about any unusual symptoms you may be experiencing. Your teeth and overall health will thank you.


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