Have you ever been excited about your favourite meal only to experience pain when taking your first bite? Pain, regardless of where it’s felt, is a pretty good indicator that something isn’t quite right, and you may require some form of medical intervention. Tooth pain is no exception, and seeing your family dentist sooner than later is the best way to prevent any serious oral issues that require a visit to your emergency dentist

Here are 5 of the most common reasons you may be experiencing pain when biting down or touching your teeth, including 

1. Cavities

As children, our parents drilled into us the notion of avoiding foods with high sugar content, and for good reason. When sugar in your mouth is broken down by plaque bacteria, it becomes acid and this acid causes tooth decay by softening the enamel layer of your teeth. As this bacteria eats away at the enamel, small holes form in your teeth known as cavities. Cavities are sneaky, and often form before you feel or see any noticeable symptoms. The first sign of a cavity may be the tenderness you feel when biting down or touching the affected tooth.

2. Alignment

The alignment of your teeth is so important, there’s an entire arm of dentistry that deals with nothing but issues directly related to alignment known as Orthodontics. When your teeth are incorrectly aligned, and the top and bottom teeth don’t meet just right, early or excessive wear to your teeth can occur, causing not only jaw pain but also pain when biting. 

3. Sinus congestion

Not all dental pain is caused by a dental issue! The roots from your top teeth sit very close to your sinuses, meaning that pressure, congestion or infection from your sinuses may be the source of tooth pain. This phenomenon is known as a “sinus toothache” and is usually felt in the upper posterior teeth nearest to the sinuses. This is typically the cause of tooth pain when the pain isn’t limited to a single tooth but rather a group of teeth.

4. Periodontitis

Periodontitis, the result of untreated gingivitis, can cause severe oral pain. Overall dental health involves maintaining not only your pearly whites but also the pink stuff that keeps them stable in your mouth. Caused by poor oral hygiene, gingivitis is the accumulation of bacterial plaque around and between your teeth. When this plaque isn’t removed before it’s able to harden into tartar, it can trigger an immune response, leading to the destruction of gum tissue. Without treatment, this destruction of gum tissue leads to red, bleeding, tender gums, dental pain, and in extreme cases, tooth loss.

5. Detached fillings or crowns

With the average lifespan of fillings and crowns falling between 10-15 years, those fillings/crowns you got as a teenager may be the cause of the pain you’re feeling. When a filling or crown becomes loose, it allows bacteria to become trapped beneath it, causing irritation to the tooth and, in some cases, the nerves below your teeth. Biting down on a loose filling or crown can antagonize the already irritated tooth, causing sharp pain.

Offering routine family dental care as well as doing their best to get you same-day appointments for emergencies, the friendly dental experts at Yankee Valley Dental in Calgary can help you get back to enjoying all your favourite meals, pain-free! Call us today at 403-980-5588.