Ouch!!!… hurts to bite?

ouch-2Finding it painful to bite on one side? Following on from last months issue we look at why teeth can be sore to bite on.

With children, pain when chewing is usually from teething as new baby teeth or adult teeth start to come through.

Sometimes though it can be from either food jamming between deeply decayed teeth or when an abscess is forming.

Generally if the tooth is loose it’s teething and if not you should see your dental team quickly.

With adults, food packing between teeth and abscesses are common causes of bite related pain. When a tooth is sore to bite on shortly after you’ve had dental work on it, the new filling may simply be too high which is easily fixed by your dentist adjusting it. Sometimes it’s from the nerve (pulp) or tissue around the tooth needing a settling down time which may take up to some months depending on the situation. Should it be too painful or not improving, further treatment may be required.

Newly erupted wisdom teeth can also be painful to bite on if a flap of gum gets squashed between the top and bottom teeth. This pain may come and go but normally needs to be treated.

Another common reason is from cracked teeth. This can be from an accident, teeth fracturing around decay or even from excessive grinding. Another very common cause is from amalgam (silver) fillings. Packed into the tooth with a great deal of pressure, over time they can have a wedging effect and cracks may form around the filling. People may be aware of an intermittent sharp pain when they eat harder types of food. Most of these cracks don’t hurt but can lead to large chunks of tooth splitting off and more expensive treatment may be required. I prefer to use an intra-oral camera during check-ups so that we can detect these problems early and patients can see what’s happening on the computer screen. The earlier these are picked up the better!