Tooth sensitivity is often a sign of an oral health issue, especially when tooth sensitivity occurs when chewing. Fortunately, the underlying causes of tooth sensitivity may be addressed with restorative dentistry for improved dental health and comfort. Tooth sensitivity when chewing can be caused by a number of dental issues. For answers to your questions about tooth sensitivity and chewing, or to see which treatments are right for you, contact Rancho Cucamonga, CA dentists Sharon B. Mateja and Brenda Kueckels.
What Are the Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity When Chewing?
Tooth sensitivity is generally felt as a sharp, sudden pain when biting down or chewing food. Sensitivity when chewing is essentially a result of pressure being applied to the nerves within the teeth, which may occur for a number of reasons. Some common causes of tooth sensitivity when chewing include:
- Enamel erosion: The outer layer of the teeth, called the enamel, can erode and wear away when repeatedly exposed to acids from foods, bacteria in plaque, friction from teeth grinding, or aggressively brushing the teeth. Enamel erosion leaves the teeth susceptible to decay and increased tooth sensitivity.
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay can corrode the teeth, exposing the inner nerves and blood vessels of the teeth to bacteria and food remnants. Food or other teeth may press against the nerves, causing pain when chewing.
- Root canal infection: Tooth decay can lead to an infection of the nerves, blood vessels, and inner pulp tissue of the teeth, resulting in a root canal infection. Root canal infections can cause the nerves to become sensitive to pressure when chewing, causing pain when eating.
- Damaged fillings: Damaged dental fillings, whether broken, loose, or cracked, can lead to tooth sensitivity when chewing either from directly pressing against the tooth's nerve or allowing food debris to enter the tooth.
- Dental fractures: Dental fractures may cause pain when chewing as a result of broken portions of the tooth pressing against the nerve or allowing food to press against the nerve when eating.
Relieve Tooth Sensitivity with Dental Treatment
Because tooth sensitivity when chewing may be a sign of an oral health problem, it's important to see a dentist to determine the underlying cause. Once a cause is determined, proper treatment may be performed. Some possible treatments may include:
- Tooth-colored fillings: Tooth-colored fillings may be used to replace damaged dental fillings or treat new tooth decay.
- Root canal therapy: Tooth sensitivity and pain caused by root canal infections may be treated with root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is performed to remove infected tissues from the tooth.
- Dental crowns: Broken teeth or severe tooth decay may be treated with dental crowns for restored dental function and appearance, as well as relief from tooth sensitivity.
Find out Which Treatment Is Right for You
For more information about tooth sensitivity and chewing or to find out which treatment is right for your dental needs, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mateja or Dr. Kueckels at your earliest convenience.