Why My Tooth Hurts When I Bite Down

“My tooth hurts when I bite down — what can I do?” Well, putting extra pressure on your teeth while eating is normal. But what is not normal is feeling any type of pain or discomfort while doing it. So, the best course of action would be to visit your emergency dentist.

If the pain is too intense, you can always visit an emergency dentist at NextGen Dental & Orthodontics, and they will be able to diagnose it. In the following lines, we’ll go through some of the most common reasons why your teeth might start hurting when you eat to give you some idea of what to expect.

Pain Is Usually a Sign

If you notice that your tooth (or teeth) started hurting for no reason, it is usually a sign that there is an underlying condition that needs to be addressed. Having sensitive teeth can point out several different problems, but most of them are easily solvable if you act on time.

So, if you’re wondering, “Why do my teeth hurt when I bite down?” you might suffer from one of the following conditions:

Position of the Tooth

When you eat, the pressure is spread evenly across all teeth. Or that is what should happen in theory. The way teeth align with each other is called occlusion, and having a tooth with a different height might be the cause of your pain.

Of course, that doesn’t apply to teeth only. The crown or filling can be too high as well compared to other teeth. At the same time, the tooth opposite of the one of increased height can also hurt since the pressure on it will be higher. The simplest way to solve the problem is to use a marking paper that will measure the occlusion. Also, you can adjust the bite to eliminate the pain.


Cavities are the most common problem with teeth. Indeed, tooth decay is usually the chief reason why your tooth hurts, not just while eating but in general. Usually, if you have cavities, your teeth will hurt when you eat something with a lot of sugar in it. Moreover, biting or chewing food that’s either hot or cold might also result in sharp pain.

Depending on the size of the cavity, food can get stuck in it, causing additional pressure. Furthermore, if the condition is left untreated, it can irritate the nerve inside the tooth, causing pain even after you have stopped eating. Experiencing pain when you bite is a clear sign that you should talk to your dentist to avoid further damage to your teeth.

Dental Abscess

Another possible answer to the problem is that you have a dental abscess. An abscess can appear on the tip of the root, and eating will put additional pressure on the tooth. A cyst, swelling, or fistula is often a problem, and you should address the issue as soon as you notice it.

While some of these problems can come and go, sometimes the only solution is to perform a root canal. As you can probably guess already, the only way to know what’s happening is to talk to your dentist. This type of tooth emergency shouldn’t be ignored since it can only worsen with time.

Cracked or Damaged Tooth

Having a broken tooth will feel like there is a huge hole in your mouth. But if the tooth is merely cracked, it might go unnoticed. Sometimes, the fracture can be so small that it won’t even appear on the x-ray. However, there are other ways of determining the problem. Luckily, having a chipped tooth is significantly easier to spot, and you will notice that there is a sharp edge on it.

Since this type of damage can expose the root, it is one of the reasons why you might experience tooth pain when biting. The crack in the tooth will only get bigger if you don’t address the problem, though. That is one of the primary reasons why you should seek emergency dental services as soon as your tooth cracks.

Periodontal Disease And Gum Issues

The next one on the list is periodontal disease or periodontitis. This is a gum disease that affects the soft tissue around teeth. If you leave it untreated, it can easily destroy the bone, causing a lot of problems to your oral health.

This condition is quite common, but it isn’t something you should be afraid of. In fact, treating it can be quite simple if the condition is not as severe. The only thing that matters is that you act on time and start solving the problem as soon as it manifests.

This condition doesn’t affect gums only — gum recession means that your gums will move and expose the sensitive parts of the tooth. Consequently, it will increase the chances of damage, cavities, and other teeth-related problems. Gum recession can happen due to aggressive brushing, bruxism, and gum diseases.

Sinus Problems

Yes, you read it right — sinus problems can affect your teeth. The reason why is that the nasal sinuses are close to the roots of your teeth. So, experiencing pain doesn’t have to do anything with your teeth. In fact, it might be a sign that you have sinus inflammation.

The back teeth are the most sensitive ones, and they may also affect premolars. As you can probably guess, lower teeth can not be affected by sinus problems.

What Can You Do?

The smartest thing you could do is visit a dentist. Based on the severity of the problem and pain, you might want to consider a walk-in dentist. So, the next time your tooth hurts when you bite down, you should consider seeking emergency dental care that will solve the problem.

Once again, there is no way to know which one of these problems applies to your situation unless you visit a dentist. There is a high chance that your dental emergency can be solved in no time if you act timely.

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