Why Do Your Teeth Hurt When You Bite Down?

Why Do Your Teeth Hurt When You Bite Down?

Do your teeth hurt when you bite down? There are multiple reasons why you can feel tooth pain when chewing. Regardless of the cause, telling your dentist about this pain is the most important thing you can do for your smile. If you feel pain when biting down, learn about some of the potential causes, below. Then schedule your next visit at Carolina Dental Arts in Goldsboro or Raleigh, NC for a dental exam, diagnosis and treatment.

A High Tooth, Crown or Filling

The way your teeth come together when you bite down is called occlusion. With proper occlusion, your teeth evenly bear the pressure of your bite. But when one of your teeth, a filling or crown sit higher than they should, this tooth bears too much pressure from biting. As a result, your teeth hurt when you bite down.

If your dentist notes your occlusion is incorrect, he or she can take measures to adjust your bite. As a result, your teeth evenly bear the pressure of chewing and you no longer feel pain.

A Large Cavity Makes Your Teeth Hurt When You Bite Down

When your teeth hurt when you bite down, one of the most common causes for this pain is a large cavity in the tooth. Tooth decay can also cause pain or sensitivity after you finish eating, depending on what type of food you consumed. Sugary drinks and sweet foods frequently trigger this tooth pain when chewing if you have a cavity. If your cavity is large, food can also get stuck in this space causing lingering pain.

It is important to know that all cavities do not make your teeth hurt when you bite down. You can have a cavity forming for awhile before it advances into the pulp inside your tooth, where its affect on the nerve causes discomfort when you eat.

It is important to find cavities early to keep you from suffering negative effects like these or even losing your tooth to extraction. Seeing your Carolina Dental Arts dentist twice each year gives you an advantage over tooth decay.

Dental Abscess

Sometimes an abscess at or near the tooth root is why your teeth hurt when you bite down. An abscess is an infection that causes swelling or a cyst inside your bone. The swelling causes pressure to build up around the tooth root, making biting or even pressing on your gums painful.

With an abscess you possibly notice that your pain comes and goes. You may also have a small pimple on your gums, called a fistula. A fistula drains a salty tasting fluid, too. A root canal is the only method for treating an abscess.

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth is not always visible to the naked eye. If your teeth hurt when you bite down, a dental X-ray can help diagnose your problem. Still, hairline fractures can remain visually undetectable using X-rays. Your Carolina Dental Arts dentist can diagnose a cracked tooth using a special stick you bite down on to pinpoint pain at specific parts of the tooth.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, can also make your teeth hurt when you bite down. Gum health is critical for tooth health, particularly for the vulnerable roots of your teeth. During a routine dental exam or because you feel tooth pain when chewing, your dentist will measure the gum attachment level at each tooth. If you have severe tissue detachment, you possibly also have symptoms like:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Heavy tartar buildup
  • Sensitive teeth

Sinus Infection, Pressure or Congestion

Your nasal sinuses are very close to your tooth roots. This means that a sinus infection can cause tooth pain in your upper molars, premolars or bicuspids. Although this is not a dental problem, your dentist can help determine this diagnosis and refer you to your primary healthcare provider or other doctor. Still, sinus pressure is a common reason why your teeth hurt when you bite down.

Receding Gums and Exposed Roots

Receding gums is not a direct reason why your teeth hurt when you bite down. But exposed roots because of poor gum health can leave teeth very sensitive to pressure or touch.

See Your Dentist if Your Teeth Hurt for a Pain Diagnosis

Tooth pain will not go away on its own. This pain is your body’s signal that you have a problem inside your mouth and need dental treatment. Whether your teeth hurt when you bite down or feel sensitive in other ways, it is time to schedule your next visit with Carolina Dental Arts.