Tooth Pain When Chewing

By Ettienne Van Zyl on September 26, 2018

Young blonde woman suffering from tooth painToothaches can be acute or chronic, mild or severe. Tooth pain when chewing may indicate a wide range of dental issues, such as decay, fractures, or dental abscesses.

At our Memphis, TN practice, Dr. Ettienne van Zyl can determine the cause of your dental discomfort and recommend appropriate restorative dentistry treatments. Today, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for pressure-related tooth pain.

What Causes Tooth Pain When Chewing?

Some tooth pain, such as temperature sensitivity, is fairly common and should not be a cause for concern. Conversely, sensitivity to pressure can indicate the presence of a serious oral health issue.

Some of the most common causes of tooth pain when chewing include:

  • Tooth decay: When cavities form, they damage the enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth. As a result, food particles, debris, and other irritants can reach the sensitive inner layers, resulting in pain.
  • Gum recession: This condition can be caused by aggressive brushing or periodontal disease. As the roots become exposed, the teeth are more vulnerable to decay, damage, and sensitivity.
  • Enamel erosion: The outermost layer of the teeth can erode due to wear and tear or exposure to acids in foods and beverages. As a result, the teeth become more sensitive.
  • Dental abscess: Characterized by a pocket of pus that forms around the tip of the root, a dental abscess is a type of dental infection. One common symptom of a dental abscess is tooth pain when chewing.
  • Root canal infection: When bacteria invade the pulp chamber, the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues inside the tooth become infected and inflamed. As a result, many patients with this condition experience pressure-related tooth pain.
  • Structural damage: A large fracture, especially one that extends the entire length of the tooth, can cause significant pain and discomfort when chewing.

Common Symptoms

Pressure-related tooth pain is not usually constant. It typically only happens when you bite down on the tooth a certain way or when you eat particularly hard foods.

However, if you are experiencing any type of dental pain, it is important to have an evaluation as soon as possible, no matter how mild. Detecting issues early can help you avoid further problems in the future.

Diagnosing Tooth Pain

If you are experiencing tooth pain when chewing, Dr. van Zyl will run a series of tests to determine the cause of the problem. After visually examining the affected tooth, x-rays and scans will be taken to determine if a fracture or other problem is present.

Dr. van Zyl may also test the temperature sensitivity of your tooth by applying a cold liquid to the area. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, your treatment can be planned.

Treatments for Pressure-related Tooth Pain

The treatment that is recommended will be determined by the cause of your tooth pain. Some of the most common treatments for addressing pressure-related dental pain include fillings, dental crowns, root canal therapy, and extractions (if all other options have been exhausted). During a consultation at our practice, Dr. van Zyl can discuss your treatment options with you in detail.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

If you are experiencing pressure sensitivity or another type of dental pain, schedule a consultation at our practice. Contact us online or call our office at (901) 457-7753.

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