Why Are My Teeth Sensitive When I Chew?

Tooth Sensitivity and Chewing - Ulster County, NY

Dec 23, 2016 — by Michael Tischler
Tags: Tooth Sensitivity General Dentistry

A woman with a toothachePatients who visit our Ulster County practice appreciate our focus on total wellness. This means using the latest restorative dentistry treatments while also emphasizing preventative care and patient education. It empowers patients and helps them smile with renewed confidence.

A number of patients have asked up why their teeth feel sensitive or sore when they bite and chew. There are couple of reasons why this may be happening, so let's explore the issue right now.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

To understand why tooth sensitivity occurs, it's helpful to understand the basic anatomy of a tooth. There are three layers to a tooth:

  • Enamel – The topmost layer of a tooth is comprised of enamel. It is one of the hardest substances in the entire body, able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear.

  • Dentin – Below the enamel is the dentin layer of the tooth. Dentin is porous, and these pores are called dentinal tubules. The dentinal tubules lead into the interior layer of a tooth.

  • The Pulp Chamber – Within each tooth is a chamber that filled with a soft tissue known as dental pulp. The dental pulp is comprised of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

In most cases, the sensitivity while chewing occurs when the dentinal tubules are exposed or more receptive to sensations of pressure as well as temperature. This causes pain. A number of things can trigger this response.

Major Cavities and Tooth Decay

When a great deal of the enamel layer is worn away, it potentially exposes the dentin underneath. It can be quite painful to bite and chew when a person has major cavities and/or multiple cavities.

Chipped or Cracked Teeth

As with tooth decay, damaged tooth structure tends to make teeth more sensitive. The more serious the chip or crack, the more likely a person is to experience a toothache with the fractures tooth.

Poor Dental Alignment

Teeth that are properly spaced do not exert excessive pressure on the teeth next to it and the teeth on the opposite dental arch when the mouth is shut. However, poor dental alignment can mean excessive or uneven pressure on different teeth. This can lead too issues with toothaches and pressure when biting and chewing.

Damaged or Ill-Fitting Dental Restorations

Fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns are meant to rebuild damaged tooth structure. When they are damaged or they fit poorly, this can lead to serious pain and discomfort.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding is the gnashing, shifting, and clenching of the teeth when a person is asleep. The excessive pressure on the teeth can lead to soreness, toothaches, worn enamel, and dental pain. Over a long period of time, it can even cause fractures to a tooth.

Teeth Whitening Treatment Side Effects

Teeth whitening treatment causes a person's teeth to be more sensitive. This is because the bleaching agents penetrate the enamel and cause heightened sensitivity of the dentinal tubules. Thankfully this is just a temporary side effects of dental bleaching.

Learn More About Addressing Tooth Sensitivity

For more information about treatment of tooth sensitivity and how we can help you have a healthy and beautiful smile, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. Our team of dental care experts look forward to your visit and discussing your dental care needs in more detail.

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