Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Chew?

Why do my teeth hurt?

Have you ever bitten into a crunchy apple or chewed on a piece of pizza and suddenly felt a sharp pain in your teeth? If you have, you’re not alone. Many people experience tooth pain when chewing. Let’s explore why this happens and what you can do about it.

Understanding Tooth Pain

It’s important to have some knowledge about our teeth. Teeth are protected by a hard outer shell called enamel, which is vital for safeguarding the underlying layers of the teeth, including nerves and blood vessels. The nerves in our teeth send pain signals to our brain alerting us of a dental problem and the need to visit a dentist.

Common Reasons for Tooth Pain When Chewing

1. Cavities

What are cavities? 

  • Cavities are holes in your teeth caused by bacteria.

How do they cause pain? 

  • When you chew, food can press into these tiny holes, and irritate the nerves inside your teeth.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

What is tooth sensitivity? 

  • Tooth sensitivity happens when the enamel wears down, exposing the dentin, a softer layer that leads to the nerves.

How does tooth sensitivity cause pain? 

  • Hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods can easily reach the nerves, causing sharp pain.

3. Gum Disease

What is gum disease? 

  • Gum disease is an infection of the gums, the soft tissue around your teeth.

How does it cause pain? 

  • Infected gums can become swollen and tender. Chewing puts pressure on the gums, causing discomfort.

4. Cracked or Broken Teeth

What are cracked or broken teeth? 

  • Teeth can crack or break from injury, chewing hard foods, or by grinding your teeth.

How do they cause pain? 

  • A crack or break can expose the nerves inside your tooth, making chewing painful.

5. Loose Fillings or Crowns

What are fillings and crowns? 

  • Fillings and crowns are materials dentists use to restore damaged teeth.

How do they cause pain? 

  • If they become loose or fall out, the unprotected part of your tooth can become sensitive to pressure and temperature changes.

6. Sinus Infection

What is a sinus infection? 

  • Sinuses are air-filled spaces in your face. When they get infected, the sinuses swell and fill with mucus.

How does a sinus infection cause pain? 

  • The roots of your upper teeth are located near your sinuses. A sinus infection can cause pressure on the roots, making your teeth hurt when you chew.

What Can You Do About Tooth Pain?

If you continue to experience tooth pain when you chew, try these simple steps: 

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Floss every day to remove food particles and plaque between your teeth. 
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria.

2. Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods

  • Avoid chewing on hard foods.
  • Avoid sticky foods like caramel that can pull on your fillings and teeth.

3. Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

  • Special toothpaste for sensitive teeth can help reduce pain by blocking the pathways to the nerves.

4. Stay Hydrated

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to keep your mouth moist and rinse away food particles.

5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

  • Regular check-ups can provide early detection of dental problems.
  • If you have a toothache, see your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist can identify the cause and suggest the best treatment.

Treatments Your Dentist May Suggest

1. Fillings

If you have a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill the hole with a special material.

2. Fluoride Treatments

Your dentist may apply fluoride varnish to strengthen your enamel for sensitive teeth.

3. Deep Cleaning

If you have gum disease, the dentist may clean under your gums to remove plaque and tartar.

4. Crowns

If a tooth is cracked or severely decayed, the dentist may suggest a crown to cover and protect the tooth.

5. Root Canal

If the inside of your tooth is infected, the dentist in Grande Prairie will clean out the infection and seal the tooth.

Preventing Tooth Pain

The best way to avoid tooth pain is by practicing daily oral hygiene. Here are some tips:

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

Foods rich in calcium and vitamins are good for your teeth. Avoid consuming sugary snacks and drinks.

2. Wear a Mouthguard

If you grind your teeth at night or play sports, a mouthguard can protect your teeth from damage.

3. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools

Never use your teeth to open packages or bottles. This can crack or chip them.

Need help with your tooth pain?

At Gateway Dentistry Group we are here to help with your pain. Restoring your teeth to optimal health is our priority so you can enjoy food and all its pleasures again. If you experience tooth pain, it is important to be seen by a dentist immediately. Visit an emergency dentistry near you and schedule a visit today to quickly get back to pain-free living!

(587) 330-2122