Tooth Hurts When I Bite Down: 7 Causes & How To Stop It 

Why do my tooth hurts when I bite down?

Discomfort in the tooth which maybe either mild or more intense may be a sign resulting from several possible sources and causes. The is a great need to see your dentist when this discomforts occur. When the tooth hurts, it is a real bad and painful condition.


The mouth and teeth help with digestion by chopping up food, but they’re also crucial for speech. A tooth is the hardest substance in the human body. The tooth is the calcified portion of the mouth used to break up food, mix the food with saliva and start the digestive process. An adult with a full complement of teeth has 32 teeth, 8 in each quadrant.

A central, a lateral, a first bicuspid, a second bicuspid, a first molar, a second molar, a wisdom tooth. A teeth can be chipped, cracked or broken, but it usually takes quite a bit of force to harm them. The Teeth also come as Temporary teeth and Permanent Teeth. Temporary teeth are also known as baby teeth or milk teeth. They come into the mouth at about 6 months of age and all of them completely erupt by the age of 3 years.

Temporary teeth starts falling off up to the age of 12, temporary teeth are then replaced by permanent teeth which are supposed to last longer up to the rest of your life if properly taken care of. Permanent teeth on the other hand are the teeth that come in after around age 5 to 6 years old through age 18 or so. They are considered permanent because they are the only ones you get after that age. Permanent teeth in humans are irreplaceable as, if they fall they will not be replaced by other teeth naturally.

Permanent teeth come in four different types and the include;

  1. INCISORS: The Incisors functions in  punching or cut food during the process of mastication.
  2. CANINE: The Canine maintains natural facial expressions at corner of the mouth and support incisors and premolars.
  3. PREMOLARS : The Premolars is For grinding of food, but less efficient than molars.
  4. MOLARS : The Molars are for grinding and chewing.
Tooth Hurts When I Bite Down


The reasons the tooth hurts when I bite down includes;

1. Large Cavity in a Tooth

The main reason for cavity is plaque accumulation due to sticky food or improper cleaning. Our tooth has nerves in the 3rd layer called pulp. When you have a cavity, most often it gets transmitted to the terminal area of root of tooth forming pus there in most of the cases, the part of tooth that you can’t see in general and it lies inside gums.

This in turn disturbs the environment in which the tooth lies in. The nerves associated with tooth transmit information to your brain and in response to the pus formed or the disturbed environment, you feel pain and your tooth hurts as you bite down or chew.

2. Cracked Tooth

A cracked or broken tooth may make your teeth more sensitive. Extensive cracks can prompt infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread deep down and gum surrounding the tooth. Cracked tooth  may involve just a corner of the tooth or the crack may extend through the middle of the tooth into the pulp and root structure.  A cracked tooth may affect the entire tooth down to the root or only the tooth enamel. While chewing something or biting down on anything hot or cold, you may feel pain in the cracked tooth.

An unnoticed injury to tooth or sometimes even heavy chewing forces may have lead to cracking of the tooth which may be not be as visible course it’s hairline type is undetectable clinically. Here a x-ray is required and must to save the tooth.

3. Orthodontic Procedures

This is normally seen in patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. The brackets and wire applied to the teeth to cause moving of the teeth can lead to pain initially, since the entire tooth structure along with the bone is being forced to shift from its place, pain is normally seen for a few hours to a few days after the dental appointment mainly because of activation of the wires. and eventually the pain subsides. The patient can also take painkillers if he or she feels like.

4. Wisdom Teeth Erupting

You can experience hurt when you bite down when your wisdom teeth erupt in. Your wisdom teeth usually start to emerge during late adolescence. Sometimes, there’s not enough room for them, and they come in partially or not at all In most of the cases, it becomes impacted and causes a lot of dental issues which is why dentist recommends wisdom teeth removal.

5.  Dental Abscess

The abscess is an infection and these Infections spread and cause other previously uninfected areas to become infected and it eventually kills the tooth affected leading to further treatment that is more expensive and more prolonged. Dental Abscess appears as a shiny, smooth swelling that protrudes out of the gums and is sensitive to the touch and hurts when you bite down. The tooth or teeth around the abscess may also become sensitive or loosen.

6. Periodontal Disease

It is a gum disease where gums are receded leading tooth’s roots exposed to dentin, caries, mobility as causes of pain when you bite down. Periodontal diseases infects the tissues which hold your teeth. It can  happen by bad brushing and flossing habits. In the advanced stage, you can face a variety of painful chewing problems and even tooth loss. Most people are affected by this disease because of the habit of smoking. It have Swollen and crippling gums as it’s early signs. 

7.  Congestion or Sinus Pressure

The root of the upper molars and premolars are in, or near the maxillary sinus. Pressure or Congestion in the sinuses can cause a small amount of movement of the teeth. This is just enough to change the bite and causes pain because the teeth contact prematurely and eventually causes hurt as you bite down. The pain from this usually manifests itself as a dull, continuous pain.


If tooth hurts when I bite down keeps increasing when, or worsens, the best thing to do to stop the tooth from hurting is to make an appointment with a dentist. This is a smart step to take, see a dentist, when appropriate, because you really don’t want this situation to become worse, and the root cause of the pain can be identify and treated.

The dentist will get to know the duration of pain, any traumatic injuries, condition of teeth, x-rays will also be carried out depending on how severe the pain might be to help detect the root of the pain, age, habits, images of teeth, all this details will need to be put in place for an accurate treatment.


Tooth hurts when I bite down infection when it originates with symptoms is when the decay have reached the nerve of the tooth, initially it is painful having it’s peak just before the nerve died. After that is painless but an abscess is growing in the root of the tooth and the treatment is to do a root canal.

An Infected tooth hurts when I bite down, it can cause pain in the entire side of the face where the tooth is located, you could possibly have a blister on the gum above the tooth, you may possibly have fever, a bad taste in your mouth, and just a feeling of being ill. An Infection in your mouth is nothing to brush aside, as bacteria may enter your blood stream and damage other organs. 


The root canal treatment helps you to restore your tooth and saves it from the permanent damage, the treatment involves removing infected pulp tissue from a tooth using a small drill, and inserting a wire or tube into the root canal. Damages such as Deep tooth injury, a long term cavity, Repeated dental treatments, Faulty crown etc. Can all be taken care of by the root canal treatment.


It is advisable to see your dentist concerning any tooth related discomfort, a temporary remedy to carry out at home to sooth the pains that accompany the hurting tooth when you bite down while you secure an appointment with the dentist, will be to Ice it by  Placing a small ice cube in a plastic bag, wrap a thin cloth around the bag, and apply it to the aching tooth for about 15 minutes to numb the nerves. Alternatively, that ice pack can go on your cheek, over the painful tooth.


A nice smile is a very attractive asset. Without teeth, the jaws collapse and make a person look older and sunken in. Hurtful sensation as one bites down could be caused by any possible number of reasons. It could be something minor like exposure of nerve endings along the gum line. Or, the cause could be decay and should be treated as soon as possible. No pain should be left unwatched and the sooner the treatment the better.

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