Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Chew?

Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Chew?

Team General Dentistry

If you have a tooth that hurts when you chew or bite down on it, there are a number of different reasons this can occur. But regardless of the reasons, your dentist can help. 

What Causes Tooth Pain When Chewing?

Among the most common reasons that teeth hurt when you chew are these:

  • Tooth Filling or Crown is Too High or Improperly Placed

If you have a filling or crown that is too high, or improperly placed, that can cause pain when biting down. This sensitivity or pain is usually the most noticeable after a dental filling or crown is placed, and while it should go away quickly, if it does not, the filling or crown needs to be adjusted. That can be determined by measurement and evaluation of the treatment.

  • Large Tooth Cavity 

A large tooth cavity can also cause pain when chewing or eating. It may be particularly noticeable after eating sweets or having a soda. Larger cavities can also cause food to get stuck in them, which also causes pain and pressure in the tooth.

The kind of advanced decay in your tooth that a large cavity represents may also irritate the nerve inside your tooth each time you chew or bite. Of course not all cavities hurt, but larger ones often do. Sometimes a root canal may be necessary for treatment.

  • Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is definitely painful. An abscess is a swelling or cyst that places pressure on your tooth, and the painful pressure may subside on some days and be worse on others. 

  • Cracked Tooth 

A cracked tooth can be difficult to diagnose because there may not be any symptoms besides pain when chewing. bite down on it. It helps to pay attention as to whether or not the pain is coming from a specific part of your mouth or a particular tooth. While severe or larger fractures show up on dental X-rays, often hairline fractures remain unseen. Your dentist can perform special testing to find the crack, however.

  • Periodontal Disease

Gum health can also cause pain. If you are experiencing gingivitis or severe periodontal disease, depending on the amount of tissue detachment between tooth and gum, or any infected, bleeding, or swollen gum tissue, you may also experience pain upon chewing. 

  • Sinus issues

Because your teeth have roots that are located close to your sinuses, you may not have a dental problem that is causing your tooth pain. It could be inflamed sinuses that are causing your discomfort.

If this is the case, usually the most sensitive teeth are your back molars or premolars. And typically, lower teeth are not affected, only upper teeth in these areas.

  • Gum Recession and Root Exposure

Teeth can be sensitive and painful if gum recession has occurred, because you will experience added pressure on your tooth, particularly if food or drink contacts the surface of your tooth root. Gum recession can occur through trauma, overly aggressive brushing, teeth grinding, or gum disease.

Don’t Ignore Tooth Pain

Whatever the cause of tooth pain when you bite or chew, don’t ignore it. It will not improve over time, and is usually the sign of something serious taking place in your mouth. 

Find Out Why Your Teeth Hurt and Get Relief Today!

If you have a tooth or several teeth that are hurting when you chew or bite, reach out to us and schedule an exam. We are ready to help!