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The Most Likely Causes of Pain When Chewing

The Most Likely Causes of Pain When Chewing

Did you just crunch down when chewing only to feel immediate pain? If it originated from your tooth or jaw there are a few potential causes that could be the reason you felt pain when chewing food. Usually, this means a visit to the dentist is in order but some conditions are less vital to treat right away.

We detail 5 of the main potential causes your mouth might not feel great when chewing food.

1. Pain When Chewing Could Be Caused by Dental Occlusion That Is Too High

When a crown or filling is filled too “high” it creates an uneven distribution of pressure on your teeth that causes teeth that wouldn’t normally bear so much pressure to be irritated or in pain. It typically occurs after dental work and is one of the easiest kinds of pain to treat. A quick adjustment by your dentist should balance the bite and improve the symptoms dramatically.

2. Your Pain Might Be From a Cavity

Cavities are one of the most common kinds of pain from chewing. Improper brushing habits and eating too many sweets can cause cavities. As they grow, these cavities can become very painful (and worsen) if left alone and need to be treated as soon as possible by a dentist.

Young man experiencing pain when chewing

3. Your Pain May Be From a Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth can be one of the more challenging diagnoses to make as their symptoms can often overlap with others on this list. However, if you experience pain in one specific area when chewing, it could be a sign of a cracked tooth.

In more severe cases, cracked teeth will show up on dental x-rays, but hairline fractures will not. In either case, your dentist will be able to help you identify the problem and address it promptly.

4. Pain When Chewing Could Be From Periodontal Disease

It isn’t just teeth that can cause pain in your mouth. Poor gum health can lead to periodontal disease and problems that can cause pain when chewing. These often show up as bleeding or swollen gums, spaces between teeth, exposed tooth roots, and wiggly or mobile teeth.

Depending on the condition you’re experiencing, your dentist can advise you on the best course of action to treat the periodontal disease. This may include homecare instructions, more frequent dental cleanings, or extraction of infected teeth.

5. Your Pain May Be From Congestion or Sinus Issues

Lastly, pain in your mouth from eating food may not actually be from your mouth at all.

Our dental roots are actually very close to our nasal sinuses so issues that plague one or the other can often cause get easily confused by our brains. For example, if your sinuses are inflamed it can manifest as tooth or jaw pain in your mouth even if you don’t have any dental issues.

In this case, you’ll need to see a doctor to get the proper treatment as a dentist won’t be able to diagnose the congestion or sinus problems you may be having.

Being able to eat pain-free should always be made a priority. If you’re experiencing any pain while drinking or chewing book an appointment with your dentist to get to the root of the problem.



Get the help of our experienced dentists to find out how you can treat any pain you may be experiencing. Book an appointment with us today!