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Robertson and Orchard, DDS

How Chewing Can Trigger Tooth Sensitivity

By N. Perry Orchard on March 24, 2017

A woman with a toothacheSmall issues can be the sign of a bigger problem. Bad breath might be the first indication of gum disease, for example. Or a sore tooth could be the sign of a serious cavity. We take time to consider all of these issues at our Corpus Christi restorative dentistry center, and we tailor custom treatments plans to improve our patient's dental wellness.

We'd like to take a moment to consider the link between dental problems and tooth sensitivity. In particular, we'll note the various causes of tooth sensitivity when people bite and chew.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

To understand why tooth may experience pain and discomfort as a result of pressure, let's take a moment to consider the basic anatomy of a tooth.

  • Enamel – The topmost layer of a tooth is comprised of enamel, which one of the strongest substances in the human body.

  • Dentin – Beneath the tooth enamel is a substance known as dentin. While dentin is generally strong, it's not as hard as enamel. Dentin is also porous, which means it's more sensitive to pressure as well as hot and cold temperatures.

  • The Pulp Chamber – Inside of each tooth is a hollow chamber that is filled with a substance known as dental pulp. The pulp is comprised of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves that were essential for the initial formation of the tooth.

Why Pressure Leads to Pain

In most cases, increased pressure felt by your teeth is the result of greater exposure of the underlying dentin layer of your teeth. When more of this porous portion of your teeth is revealed, or when the dentin is less concealed by tooth enamel, it can cause tooth sensitivity and even severe discomfort.

Tooth Decay, Fractures, and Erosion

Tooth decay, fractures to a tooth, and the erosion of tooth enamel can all contribute to increased sensitivity when biting or chewing. In addition to increasing sensitivity and pressure, these issues can also result in an increased risk of root canal infection.

The ideal treatment for these issues is the use of dental restorations, such as fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns.

Poor Dental Alignment

When your teeth are not properly aligned, this can lead to an uneven distribution of pressure. Some teeth may have more pressure on them than other when you bite and chew, which can lead to serious sensitivity and pain over time.

The ideal treatment for these kinds of problems is orthodontic care. By improving tooth alignment, you can alleviate a great deal of pressure exerted on your teeth.

Issues with Dental Restorations

When dental restorations do not fit properly or no longer fit, they can cause different issues. Sometimes the restoration awkwardly presses against a tooth and leads to increased pressure. Other times the restoration exposes underlying tooth structure to pressure.

Whatever the case may be, replacing the old restoration is typically the best option for dealing with these kinds of problems.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding is the gnashing, clenching, and shifting of the teeth that occurs while you are sleeping. Over time, the grinding of teeth can lead to soreness and sensitivity of the teeth, even when eating soft foods. Fractures and erosion can be exacerbated by teeth grinding.

There are many different therapies for teeth grinding to consider. Many times a combination of orthodontics, mouth guards, and relaxation techniques tends to do the trick.

Learn More About Dealing with Dental Health Issues

For more information about treating tooth sensitivity and improving overall dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our team of cosmetic and restorative dentists today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters with you in much greater detail.

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6421 Saratoga Blvd
Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78414

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