Why Are My Teeth Sensitive When I Chew?

Oct 7, 2016 @ 02:00 PM — by Byron Wall

A woman with a toothacheThe team at our Albuquerque dental care center believes in prevention and proactive treatment as much as we do in advanced restorative dentistry. By working as soon as possible and dental health issues, we can keep patients' smiles looking beautiful and help patients feel great.

It's not uncommon for us to see patients who complain of dental pain when they bite or chew. Let's take a moment to explore why this occurs.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

To understand why your teeth might be sensitive, let's first consider the anatomy of a tooth. This helps people understand where acute sensitivity stems from.

The topmost layer of a tooth is comprised of a hard substance known as enamel. Beneath the enamel if a porous layer of material known as dentin. Below the dentin layer is a hollow chamber in the tooth that contains dental pulp, which is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

In general, sensitivity and pain while chewing occurs when pressure triggers feels of discomfort. This could be related to exposure of the dentin or internal problems with the teeth..

Problems with Dental Alignment

When your teeth are poorly aligned, this can make biting and chewing quite painful. The pressure exerted on teeth as they meet over time can lead to damage to the teeth, making it painful to eat even soft foods.

Sign of a Serious Cavity or Dental Injury

When you have a major cavity or a serious chip or crack, it means that the enamel layer of a tooth has been breached, exposing the dentin. When you bite or chew in these cases, you may notice severe sensitivity. Hot and cold temperatures can similarly cause increased discomfort.

Sign of a Root Canal Infection

A root canal infection occurs when the oral bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth infects the dental pulp inside of a tooth. The pain can be excruciating, exacerbated when you bite or place pressure on your teeth. Endodontic treatment is necessary to alleviate pain and prevent the spread of infection.

Issues with a Dental Restoration That Doesn't Fit

When you have a filling that's loose, broken, or just doesn't fit, this cause major pain and discomfort. The filling may be pressing into the dentin, triggering pain. The same issues may occur with poorly fitting inlays, onlays, and crowns. Sometimes bad bridges and dentures can lead to pain as well.

You Might Suffer from Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Bruxism is a condition in which a person gnashes, clenches, and shifts their jaw during sleep. The motions can be quite severe, resulting in tooth damage as well as general wear and tear on the teeth over time. Teeth grinding can lead to chips and cracks in the teeth, and general tenderness of the teeth during the daytime.

Getting the Treatment You Need

If you notice issues with persistent or chronic dental pain, it's of the utmost importance that you visit our practice as soon as possible to get the treatment you need. This can help reduce the pain you feel on a daily basis and avoid serious dental health problems from occurring as well.

Contact Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico

If you notice issues with dental pain and tooth sensitivity, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. The team at Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico will work with you to improve the overall health and beauty of your smile.

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