Why does it hurt when I bite on my tooth?

Why does it hurt when I bite on my tooth?

Pressure sensitivity is a common dental problem.  What could it be?  There are several different reasons why pressure on a tooth may cause pain.

  1. When a filling/crown is too high, it can generate tooth sensitivity.   In this situation, adjusting the filling/crown to create an even bite will help relieve the pain.
  2. Cracked tooth syndrome, as we call it, is when pressure/temperature sensitivity results from hairline fractures in the tooth.  We commonly see this situation arise when a tooth has a very large filling.  Large fillings act like a wedge in the middle of a tooth.  Over a long period of time, hairline cracks in the surrounding tooth structure get larger, eventually causing discomfort.  It is best to treat these situations before the cracks get bigger.  Otherwise, you may end up needing a root canal, or in the worst-case scenario, have the tooth removed.  Generally these teeth require a crown in order to protect them.
  3. Infections that result from the nerve or surrounding gums can be a source of pressure sensitivity.  Nerve related infections can be caused by tooth trauma and very large cavities.  Gum infections are generally a result of poor oral hygiene, food traps between the teeth, traumatic food injuries, or rough surfaces along existing fillings.  Having a bad taste in your mouth is another indication that you may have an infection, in which case you should see your doctor as soon as possible!

 

Regardless of the reason, don’t wait too long to see your dentist if you are having pressure sensitivity.  Many problems in dentistry are preventable if treated in time.