Why Some Foods Can Hurt When You Chew

Posted on 7/26/2021 by Brian Rounds, DDS
Why Some Foods Can Hurt When You ChewWhile tooth sensitivity often results from extreme temperature changes, any type of tooth pain while chewing should be investigated. Tooth pain, when a temperature change is involved, is not always a cause for concern. However, if it hurts to chew, you need to learn more about the reason.

Tooth Erosion and Tooth Decay

Tooth erosion may be caused by exposure to acidic foods and drinks. It can also happen if a patient over brushes their teeth, uses a medium or firm toothbrush, or brushes too hard. When erosion develops, tooth sensitivity results, as the protective enamel layer has worn down, exposing the second layer, or the dentin. Chewing can hurt, as well, when the enamel and dentin layers dissolve due to tooth decay. When this occurs, both food and bacteria can enter the tooth's internal structures and cause pain.

An Infection of the Root Canal or an Abscess

If the root canal of a tooth becomes infected, a tooth will also hurt when chewing. The infection may develop as the result of a dental fracture or decay. When this type of infection occurs, it affects the tooth's pulp, including the blood vessels and nerves. The tissues around the tooth also can hurt. Another type of oral infection, an abscess, represents a painful pocket of pus that usually collects around the roots of a tooth, often extending to the side of the gums. An abscess may cause pain when you bite down or chew.

Gum Recession or Structural Damage

If the gum pulls away from the tooth or recedes, you may also experience pain while biting or chewing. Recession may develop as the result of gum disease or from using too much pressure when you brush. If a tooth has a crack or fracture, it may hurt to chew, especially if you press down on a nerve when eating.

Any type of tooth sensitivity or pain should be assessed immediately. Give us a call to schedule an appointment if you have a toothache or find it uncomfortable to bite or chew.

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