Tooth Sensitivity: Why your Tooth Hurts When You Bite Down

Have you ever experienced a painful sensation in your teeth while eating? Do your teeth hurt when you bite down? If yes, then you are not alone. Around 50% of adults suffer from this too. The pain can be excruciating and almost unbearable. It could be in one tooth or several teeth. Unless you’re speaking to a dentist, no one will understand what you’re going through.

However, it is worth noting that whenever there’s a problem, there’s also a cause and unfortunately, you had a part to play in it. Your teeth didn’t become sensitive overnight; if anything, they fought long and hard for you. The reason you feel this much pain is because it has accumulated.

At the end of this article, you will have learned the causes of “tooth sensitivity” and why your teeth hurt when you bite down.

What Is Teeth Sensitivity?

Teeth sensitivity is a painful condition that occurs when the (inner layer) of the tooth is exposed. The teeth are protected by an outer layer called “enamel”. Enamel covers the inner layer lining the tooth. If the enamel wears out, it exposes the dentine.
With the dentine exposed, the tooth is easily affected by acidic or harmful contents contained in some food. Daily routines like eating, brushing and drinking can end up causing intense pain in the teeth.

Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Bite Down?

Several causes could be behind the pain you feel in your teeth when you try to chew. You could be suffering from a cavity, a sore tooth, inflamed gums, or an exposed root. Any one of these could be responsible for the sudden sharp pain in your teeth when you eat.

Your teeth sensitivity to sweet delicacies isn’t a natural occurrence; you are suffering from a condition, one that can be easily treated if you visit a dentist.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors responsible for toothaches.

1. Cavity In The Tooth:

A cavity is one of the major reasons why your tooth hurts when you bite down. A cavity is another term for tooth decay. When the tooth decays, it creates a hole in it, affecting the nerves inside the tooth.

When you have cavities, you develop a tooth sensitive to sweets. Each time you chew a large chunk of food, it gets stuck in the hole of your tooth, igniting a sharp pain. A hole in the tooth means the enamel is broken, which exposes the dentine, causing the nerves of the tooth to be easily irritated when you eat.

2. Sore Tooth:

A sore in the tooth could be another reason why you experience pain each time you clench your teeth. If you have a sore around a tooth, the swelling puts pressure on it when you chew or bite down. You should see a dentist if swelling continues, the earlier the better.

3. Exposed Root:

When your teeth are sensitive to cold or when it hurts when you eat, it could also be because the root of your tooth is exposed. The teeth become highly sensitive when the root is exposed and react whenever they come in contact with food particles or hot or cold drinks.

The pressure exerted on the exposed root from chewing induces a sharp pain in the tooth. Using a strong bristle toothbrush to brush your teeth, inflammation of the gums and grinding your teeth are common causes of an exposed root.

4. When Teeth Filling Is High:

When the teeth are on the same level, they bite in unison because the pressure is distributed evenly. However, if one tooth cap is higher than the rest, extra pressure sits on that particular tooth, which causes pain when chewing. The pain will ease up if you adjust your bite as it will reduce pressure on the tooth. But of course, this is easier said than done. Besides, no one should have to be careful with every bite of food they take.

In this case, you’re better off visiting a dental professional so he can perform a dental exam on you and provide solutions that will improve your dental health.

5. When Your Gums Are Inflamed

Inflammation of the gums makes the tooth sensitive to cold. If tartar is present on a tooth, it affects the gums, resulting in swelling.

Your teeth and gums work hand-in-hand. If the teeth are unhealthy, the gums become unhealthy too. If the swelling of the gums is not treated, it causes Gingivitis and gum disease, which, if not treated, become something much more.

6. Poor Oral Hygiene:

Maintaining good oral hygiene is imperative if you want to live a life free of toothaches. It strengthens the teeth and prevents issues like teeth sensitivity. If your teeth aren’t brushed regularly (at least twice a day), you are asking for tartar and plaque.

However, while maintaining oral hygiene is important, try not to brush too hard or use a tough bristle toothbrush on your teeth. These things could destroy the protective layer – the enamel – of your teeth.

How To Fix a Sensitive Tooth

There are many ways you can fix your teeth if you notice they have become very sensitive. However, these ways are nothing you don’t already know.

1. Wash Mouth Regularly With Salt Water:

Washing your mouth often with salt water reduces teeth sensitivity. It is a fast and effective remedy. Most toothaches are caused by bacteria. Saltwater, on the other hand, eliminates bacteria and plaque build-up on the teeth. You can’t go wrong with saltwater.

2. Brush With a Soft Bristle Toothbrush:

This is the best way to fix and prevent sensitive teeth. Using a hard toothbrush will only make the situation worse by breaking the enamel, exposing the dentine, and causing sensitivity. A soft toothbrush is recommended at this point as it handles the gums gently.

3. Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Desensitizing toothpaste is recommended by dental surgeons for cases of tooth sensitivity. These kinds of toothpaste are mild and gradually relieve sensitivity and help protect teeth.

4. Protect Teeth With a Mouthguard:

Most of the pain you feel is caused by excessive grinding of the teeth. This exerts pressure on the teeth, resulting in tooth sensitivity. This is why a mouthguard exists, to protect your teeth against grinding and clenching.

Bottom Line

Tooth sensitivity is one of the worst feelings in the world but it can be prevented if you brush your teeth regularly with an adequate soft toothbrush, floss at least once a day, and use mouthwash to disinfect your tooth.

If after employing all of these methods you still have tooth sensitivity, don’t hesitate to visit a dental clinic to have your teeth checked out. The longer you take to treat it, the more severe the pain becomes.

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