Do you feel like your tooth hurts when you bite down? Chewing and eating are a large part of your everyday experience, and pain in these situations can be very bothersome.
Today, we’ll be looking at nine reasons your tooth hurts when you bite down. Our expert dentists say that it can be due to any of the following:

Root Exposure Due To Gum (Gingival) Recession

Gum recession is when the gum tissue that normally surrounds your teeth begins to recede, shrink or pull back from it. It happens due to bruxism (tooth grinding), injury or trauma to the gums, periodontal disease, and excessive overbrushing.

By itself, the condition often progresses quite far before it’s even noticed. However, gum tissue can sometimes recede to the extent that it leaves exposed the normally covered root of a tooth. This root is very sensitive and might impart a sharp, stabbing pain when it comes into contact with foreign material (food, beverages) or unfamiliar pressure.

Periodontal Disease

As mentioned above, gum recession due to periodontal disease can cause your tooth to hurt when you bite. But the periodontal disease itself can present in a variety of different ways. Common symptoms are:

  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Swollen, inflamed, or bleeding gums.
  • Loose or mobile teeth.
  • The infiltration of tartar in sensitive regions of the mouth.

A Cracked Tooth

A damaged or cracked tooth may not be immediately obvious, especially from the patient’s point of view. It may appear completely normal aesthetically, especially if it has a crack or hairline fracture. Dentists employ special techniques to find out whether a tooth is cracked.

Dental Abscess

If you’re able to point out a specific tooth that hurts when you bite down, it might have developed an abscess. Bacteria will erode the strong tooth enamel before moving on to the more sensitive, delicate inner layers. However, they can sometimes infect a root and cause infection, swelling, and abscess, filling up with pus and causing severe pain.


Your teeth come together when you bite down in a way that’s unique to the shape of your mouth and jaw. This is what dentists call occlusion. On the other hand, malocclusion occurs when the teeth don’t come together properly. This can happen due to changes in the shape of your teeth or bone, caused by disease or decay. However, it can also happen due to a cap, crown, or filling being improperly installed or coming loose. If you’ve recently had dental surgery or treatment and feel pain when you bite down, this could be the cause. The malocclusion may be causing added pressure on the tooth.

Sinus or Nasal Inflammation

Your sinuses are located close to the anatomy of your upper teeth. As such, the pain you’re experiencing may be related to inflamed sinuses rather than the teeth themselves. This may be true if the upper teeth, closer to the back of the mouth (premolars), are affected. Checking with a physician is a good way to determine if your nasal passages are causing the problem.

Dentin Hypersensitivity

You can control the bacteria that reside inside your mouth by brushing and maintaining regular oral hygiene, as you do every day. However, they can sometimes multiply and get into spaces they shouldn’t be in. If they erode and penetrate dental enamel, they can get into the sensitive dentin layer underneath. Rich with blood vessels and nerves, the dentin will provoke a painful sensation if you apply pressure to the tooth. Worse still, bacterial erosion can also expose the delicate layer of pulp underneath the dentin.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)

Your temporomandibular joint is a ball and socket joint that is directly in front of your ears. It’s responsible for connecting your jawbone to the rest of the skull. Just like with any joint, however, it can develop inflammation and suffer from a lack of lubrication, among many other disorders. This can cause limited mobility of the jaw, swelling, redness, and popping/clicking noises. TM joint disorders can sometimes result in severe tooth pain.

Bruxism (Grinding Your Teeth)

If you clench, grind or gnash your teeth together unconsciously, you could have bruxism. Whether it’s when you’re awake or asleep, bruxism can cause undue stress on the entire region of the jaw and mouth, with the potential of causing tooth wear and even serious tooth damage.

What To Do If Your Tooth Hurts When You Bite

If you’ve read through the list and found symptoms in the list that you think are familiar, it’s important to contact a physician or dentist. Having a tooth hurt can impair your overall sense of health and well-being, and a qualified dentist will be able to examine the area and find out exactly what’s wrong.

Lonestar Dental Center is your complete oral healthcare destination for various advanced dental procedures and comprehensive exams. We provide excellent service from the very beginning of your time with us in Humble, TX. Feel free to give us a call at (281) 233-0333, and we’ll be happy to help you with any questions or concerns or schedule an appointment to have your teeth looked at.

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