Improving Your Dental Care

Why Your Tooth Hurts When You Bite Down

Has your tooth started to hurt when you bite down all of a sudden? Then the first thing you need to do is to discover the cause. While not all dental pain justifies a dental emergency, in some cases, dental pain is a sign of a serious dental condition. If your tooth hurts when you bite down, one of the following conditions could be to blame.

Your Tooth Is Cracked

Teeth are made to last a lifetime, that's why they are harder than bone. But if exposed to constant pressure, they can eventually crack. But not all cracks are visible. Cracks can happen due to the pressure of nail-biting, pen biting, or nocturnal grinding. And cracks are often only visible as tiny cracks on the surface of a tooth. If your tooth is cracked, whenever you bite down, you'll feel a sharp stab of pain. Cracked tooth syndrome is a dental emergency, especially if the crack extends to the root. Infection is never far away if the crack has traveled to the center of a tooth.

You Have Gum Recession

Wear and tear also harm your gums. If you brush your teeth too hard or use a hard-bristled toothbrush, you could cause part of your gum tissue to recede. When gum tissue recedes, it exposes the unprotected root of the tooth it covers. As a result, when the patient bites down, they'll experience pain. If you find an area of a tooth where the gum has receded, call your dentist immediately. The longer the gum is exposed, the higher your risk of contracting gum disease. Bacteria could even begin to attack the exposed root and cause dental decay.

A Dental Filling Is Loose

A loose dental filling will cause pain similar to that of a cracked tooth. Check your teeth carefully. If the pain seems to be coming from a tooth with a filling, then the filling is loose and needs to be replaced. Call your dentist soon. If the filling is loose, bacteria will be able to gain entry and cause tooth infection.

You Could Have a Fracture or Cavity Under a Crown

Sometimes, a tooth-supporting crown fractures. This causes considerable pain whenever you bite down. If this is the case, a dentist may need to remove the crown and examine the tooth. If the damage is serious, you might have to replace the crown with a dental implant. If a cavity is to blame, you might not be able to see the damage. But if you suspect a cavity, see your dentist immediately. A cavity can spread under a crown quickly and destroy the remaining tooth structure.

If your tooth hurts when you bite down, try to establish the reason for the pain. But whatever happens, see your dentist as soon as you can. Pain when biting down is usually a sign that emergency dental treatment is necessary.