Why Does it Hurt to Chew? Signs of Dental Problems

Why does it hurt to chew? You don’t realize how often you use your teeth until you have a toothache. It’s also around that time that you realize the word toothache doesn’t even begin to describe what you’re feeling. The sensation can be a mild, occasional discomfort. However, it can easily grow to feeling like there’s an ice pick traveling from your tooth, through your jaw, and into your brain.

Therefore, it is really important to contact an endodontist Irvine early. By contacting them while the pain is mild, you are giving them time to identify and address the source of your pain long before it reaches unbearable levels.

Why Does it Hurt to Chew

If you’re feeling a little uneasy about contacting your dentist at OC Dental Specialists, your Irvine dentist, due to anxiety, then it may help to know what could be causing your discomfort. There are a few common causes of tooth pain, and practically all of them can be easily treated as long as you don’t delay your visit. Here are a few causes of tooth pain, so you can understand what you might expect at your next dental visit.

Why Does it Hurt to Chew: You Might Just Have A Cold

Believe it or not, serious nasal congestion can sometimes feel like a toothache. It typically feels more like pressure than pain, but it can be difficult to tell the difference in some cases. If your discomfort is caused by congestion, then you are most likely to feel it in the back molars of your upper jaw due to their proximity to the nasal cavity. Or if you suspect that congestion may be the root of your condition, then it may be advisable to see if an over-the-counter decongestant gives you relief. If not, then schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Your Alignment is Off

For patients who have recently had a filling or crown, then there is a possibility that your teeth aren’t meshing together as they should. This will cause your jaw to “sit” differently and cause you a reasonable level of discomfort depending on the severity of the occlusion. Fortunately, your dentist can usually fix these issues with relative ease, especially if they were responsible for the original work.

This same problem can also be caused by the natural placement of the teeth. If you have an overbite or underbite, it may cause discomfort. In these circumstances, you should consider braces or Invisalign to correct the bite and maximize your ability to properly care for your teeth.

You Have a Sizeable Cavity

A good-sized cavity can certainly cause a tooth to ache. Once it reaches the center of the tooth, this can escalate quickly. In a perfect world, you would never get a cavity, but when you do, it is always better to get it treated early. If you’re at the point of serious pain, then you will likely require a root canal. Anxious patients should ask about the possibility of sedation dentistry to maximize their comfort.

There’s a Crack in the Tooth

You can usually tell if you have a crack in your tooth, but that isn’t always the case. A hairline fracture could go unnoticed, but you are likely to feel its effects over time. For patients who have taken a hard hit to the face, it is always a good idea to go in for a quick dental screening to ensure nothing has been damaged. This can help you identify small cracks early and minimize the work needed to fix the problem.

You Have Gum Disease

Gum disease is far more common than you probably think. As the condition advances, the gums can begin to recede, exposing the more sensitive parts of your teeth. As a result, patients with moderate to severe gum disease are likely to experience increased sensitivity and discomfort. The treatment will depend on the current state of your gum disease. But it is always better to receive treatment than to wait longer.