10 Reasons Why Your Tooth Hurts When You Bite Down

Experiencing tooth pain when biting down can be both frustrating and concerning. Biting and chewing should be painless processes, so when discomfort occurs, it’s essential to identify the underlying cause and seek appropriate dental care. Several factors can contribute to tooth pain when biting down, ranging from minor issues to more severe dental conditions. In this article, we explore some common reasons why your tooth may hurt when you bite down and what you can do about it.

Why Does my teeth hurt when i bite down?

1. Dental Cavities: Cavities, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, are one of the most common causes of tooth pain. When bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the tooth enamel, it results in cavities. If a cavity is present on the biting surface of a tooth, the pressure from biting down can exacerbate the pain.

2. Fractured Tooth: A cracked or fractured tooth can lead to pain when biting down. The crack may be visible or hidden beneath the tooth’s surface. The pressure from chewing can cause the crack to expand, resulting in discomfort.

3. Gum Disease: Gum disease, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, can cause the gums to become inflamed and recede, exposing the tooth roots. Biting down on exposed roots can lead to sensitivity and pain.

4. Misaligned Bite (Malocclusion): If your teeth do not align correctly when you bite down, it can create excessive pressure on certain teeth, leading to pain and discomfort.

5. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Grinding or clenching your teeth, especially during sleep, can cause tooth pain when biting down. The excessive force placed on the teeth can result in sensitivity and soreness.

6. Dental Abscess: An abscess is a painful infection that can occur at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gums. Biting down on an abscessed tooth can be excruciating.

7. Dental Restorations: If you have dental fillings, crowns, or other restorations, they can occasionally cause sensitivity or discomfort when biting down, especially if they are damaged or poorly fitted.

8. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder: TMJ disorder can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw joint, which may be exacerbated when biting down.

9. Erupting Wisdom Teeth: When wisdom teeth are erupting, they can create pressure and discomfort, especially if there is not enough space for them to come in properly.

10. Sinus Infections: Infections or congestion in the sinuses can sometimes cause referred pain to the upper teeth, leading to discomfort when biting down.

What to Do if Your Tooth Hurts When Biting Down:

If you experience tooth pain when biting down, it’s essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly. They will examine your teeth and perform diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the pain. Treatment options will depend on the underlying issue and may include:

  • Dental Fillings or Restorations: If the pain is due to cavities or damaged dental restorations, your dentist may recommend repairing or replacing the affected area.
  • Tooth Extraction: In cases of severe tooth damage or infection, extraction may be necessary.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: If misaligned bite or malocclusion is the cause, orthodontic treatment may be recommended.
  • TMJ Therapy: If TMJ disorder is the culprit, your dentist may suggest treatments to alleviate jaw joint pain.
  • Root Canal Therapy: If there is an infection or abscess, a root canal procedure may be necessary to save the tooth.
  • Custom Mouthguard: If bruxism is causing the pain, a custom-made mouthguard can protect your teeth from grinding and alleviate discomfort.


Experiencing tooth pain when biting down should not be ignored. The discomfort may be a sign of an underlying dental issue that requires attention. Visiting your dentist for a comprehensive evaluation is crucial to determine the cause of the pain and receive appropriate treatment. With early intervention, many dental problems can be addressed effectively, relieving your discomfort and promoting overall oral health. Regular dental check-ups and practicing good oral hygiene are essential for preventing dental issues and maintaining a healthy smile.

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