Under Pressure: Why Tooth Sensitivity Might Occur When Chewing By Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S. on September 09, 2016

A woman with a toothacheWe take great pride in helping the people of Knoxville smile with renewed confidence. That's why we offer advanced general dentistry treatments that focus on aesthetics and wellness.

The first symptoms of many dental problems involve sensitivity or pain of the teeth. Let's look at how pain may be linked to biting, chewing, and the everyday pressures exerted on the teeth.

Considering the Anatomy of a Tooth

It may help to briefly consider the basic anatomy of a tooth so you understand why sensitivity often occurs.

The topmost layer of a tooth is comprised of enamel. While enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it will wear down or break under certain circumstances. Beneath the enamel is a layer of dentin, which has porous holes (dentinal tubules) that lead into pulp chamber, a hollow center inside of a tooth that contains soft tissue known as dental pulp. This dental pulp is comprised of nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels.

Pressure on Teeth Can Lead to Heightened Sensitivity

When you bite down or place pressure on the teeth, there are times when this pressure will cause you teeth to experience heightened sensitivity or serious pain. This is often the result of the pressure affecting that more sensitive dentin layer of the tooth, which has been uncovered or revealed in some way.

Potential Causes of Pressure-Related Dental Pain

Some of the most common reasons why this sensitivity and pain may occur include the following:

  • Tooth Decay – Serious tooth decay can lead to major problems with pain when biting or chewing.

  • Damaged Teeth – If you have a tooth that is chipped or cracked, pressure can lead to sensitivity, even when having relatively soft foods.

  • Damaged Fillings/Restorations – If a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown is damaged or poorly fit, your tooth may let you know through sensitivity.

  • Acidic Dental Erosion – Acidic dental erosion refers to cases in which the acidic pH of your mouth causes tooth enamel to erode, exposing more dentin.

  • Exposed Tooth Roots – Tooth roots that are exposed are far more sensitive than the top/crown portion of a tooth. This can result in serious issues with sensitivity and pain.

  • Tooth Grinding – Constant pressure and pain from grinding and clenching can lead to tooth damage and sore teeth.

  • Poor Dental Alignment – When your teeth are not properly aligned, biting and chewing can lead to soreness and sensitivity.

Treatments for Pressure-Related Dental Pain

Treating dental pain related to pressure will typically involve the use of dental restorations, orthodontic care, or perhaps even gum grafting procedures. The cause of the pain will determine the most ideal treatment option to consider.

Tips for Preventing These Issues from Happening

When it comes to preventing dental pain related to pressure, consider the following prevention tips:

  • Brush your teeth gently
  • Floss your teeth gently
  • Wear mouth protection during contact and combat sports
  • Avoid smoking and use of tobacco products
  • Limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups

Learn More About Tooth Sensitivity Issues

For more information about addressing tooth sensitivity and helping you have the healthiest smile possible, be sure to contact our family dental care center today. Our team is here to help you smile with renewed confidence.

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Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr., DDS Family Dentistry in Knoxville

Our practice has provided skilled and compassionate dentistry for patients in the Knoxville, TN, community for over 30 years. Dr. Zarger is a member of:

  • American Dental Association
  • Second District Dental Society
  • Tennessee Dental Association
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

We strive to make care convenient and affordable to all patients and accept CareCredit financing to help reduce the cost of treatment. Schedule your consultation today online, or by calling (865) 693-7631.

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