My Tooth Hurts When I Bite - Is it Cracked?
Teeth are designed for biting, and biting shouldn’t hurt. When it does, something is wrong. What could that be? Is a tooth cracked? Is there some underlying dental disease? Does it require intervention, or is it a problem you can manage yourself?
There’s only one way to find out for sure: see a dentist. There are a lot of factors that make a tooth hurt, and it takes a professional to tell you what specifically is going on in your case. Here are the most common reasons a tooth might be painful when you bite.
Teeth are like many other parts of the body. They’re sturdy, but if you work them really hard, they can give you pain. A tooth can get overworked if you bite down on a lot of hard things such as nuts, hard candy, and ice. You don’t have to be eating to put a strain on a tooth. If you clench or grind, you’re making your teeth do more than they’re designed to.
There’s a limit to how much stress a tooth can handle. A thin ligament attaches your tooth to the bone, and it’s possible for the ligament to get bruised.
Pain caused by overuse is usually a dull ache. If your pain is caused by overwork and nothing more, there are ways to resolve it. There are techniques and devices to reduce grinding. The solution may be as simple as not eating as many hard things. Also, ibuprofen can help.
If gums get infected, it can cause inflammation in the gum ligament. When you bite down, that swollen ligament can make the gum and tooth sore.
Sometimes brushing and flossing will take care of the problem. An antibacterial rinse can help as well. Still, it’s a good idea to visit a dentist and get the gum infection cleared up.
Pulp of Tooth Abscessed
A gum infection is a more severe problem when the pulp of a tooth becomes abscessed. It happens when some of the infection gets into a ligament. At that point, you may not be able to bite at all without sensitivity and pain.
An abscess causes a sharp, stabbing pain that stays with you during your waking hours and may also keep you from sleeping. If you’re experiencing this kind of pain, see a dentist ASAP. It’s not likely to go away on its own.
In the ideal situation, the teeth should be even. When you bite, all the upper and lower teeth ought to hit one another simultaneously. If you have an uneven bite, you can usually see or feel it. If you find yourself frequently clenching or grinding, your bite may be the culprit. Chewing with this kind of bite can result in soreness in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
There are dental and orthodontic corrections for an uneven bite.
If you have pain when you bite, you may suspect a cracked tooth, and sometimes that’s exactly what the problem is. This is an issue that needs to be evaluated by a dentist as soon as possible. The big danger is that the cracked part might actually break off. This can cause extremely unpleasant sensitivity and become a dental emergency.
It’s best to deal with a cracked tooth before it reaches the emergency stage. The most effective treatment for a cracked tooth is a crown.
A painful bite can be the result of several different causes. Sometimes the underlying problem isn't severe and can be addressed with routine dental care practices. Other times a dentist needs to intervene to deal with a crisis or to prevent a problem from becoming a crisis. If you’re not sure, call and get professional advice on what to do next.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.