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Dentistry Utah

Why Chewing Can Cause Tooth Sensitivity

A man with a toothacheHere at South Ogden Smiles, we let our patients know that no problem is too small. If they notice pain or sensitivity when they bite or chew, they can feel free to come to us. By paying attention to the problems patients have, we can properly diagnose an issue and initiate the proper restorative dentistry treatment.

Since we mentioned toothaches while biting and chewing, let's take a moment to explore that issue in a bit more detail. First off, it may be helpful to do a basic breakdown of a tooth's anatomy.

The Anatomy of a Tooth

In terms of the general anatomy of a tooth relative to the gums, there are two parts:

  • The Crown – This is the exposed portion of the tooth that is above the gumline

  • The Root – This is portion of the tooth that is covered by the gums and leads to the jawbone

As for the tooth itself, there are three layers to consider:

  • Tooth Enamel – The topmost layer of a tooth is comprised of tooth enamel. This is one of the hardest substances in the entire body.

  • Dentin – Beneath the tooth enamel is a substance known as dentin, which is relatively strong but also porous.

  • Pulp Chamber – Inside of every tooth is a hollow chamber filled with a substance known as dental pulp. This pulp is comprised of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that helped in the initial formation of the tooth.

Tooth sensitivity tends to be the result of pressure affecting these various structures of the tooth. Pain you feel from chewing means that's an issue with some part of the tooth, and it often means damaged tooth enamel or exposure of the underlying layers of a tooth.

Tooth Decay

When cavities are serious and go deep, it's not uncommon for this to result in tooth sensitivity. To treat cavities, there are different kinds of dental restorations available, such as fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns.

Tooth Fractures

Tooth fractures are the result of damage to the structure of the teeth, exposing underlying layers of structure. Like tooth decay, dental restorations are the best option for treating tooth fractures.

Acidic Erosion

Acidic erosion refers to cases in which an acidic pH in your mouth weakens tooth enamel. Restorations can be used to rebuild damaged structure, and there are various lifestyle and dietary changes to consider to alter the pH of your mouth.

Issues with Dental Restorations

Ironically, sometimes the items we use to fix tooth damage can lead to pain. When fillings, inlays, onlays, or crowns are damaged or are improperly placed, they can cause sensitivity when chewing. Replacing the problem restoration is the ideal solution in these cases.

Poor Dental Alignment

If your teeth are not properly aligned, certain teeth may have more pressure placed upon them than others, causing sensitivity. Orthodontic care is an ideal way to remedy this cause of sensitive teeth.

Tooth Grinding (Bruxism)

Gnashing, shifting, and clenching your during sleep means lots of stress on your jaw and your teeth. This can lead to serious sensitivity. The use of a night guard can help reduce the pressure on your teeth while you rest.

Contact South Ogden Smiles

For more information about treating tooth sensitivity and helping you have the healthiest smile possible, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at South Ogden Smiles is here to help you achieve excellent dental health.

Tagged In: Tooth Sensitivity, General Dentistry

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Dr. Tanner's office and staff are the best!!! I’ve been going to him for over ten years and always have been treated with the best care. Even when I had an emergency, they got me right in. His work is exceptional, and pretty much pain free!!

-Suzi B.

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