Experiencing a toothache while chewing can be both uncomfortable and alarming. It’s a common dental issue that many people encounter, and it can significantly impact daily life and oral health.

If you get toothache when chewing, it is often a signal of underlying dental problems, ranging from minor issues like cavities to more severe dental issues like gum disease or tooth fractures. Addressing this discomfort is not just about relieving pain; it’s crucial for maintaining good oral health.

In this article, we will discuss the various causes of toothache during chewing and offer insights into effective remedies and preventive measures.

Common Causes of Toothache When Chewing

Toothache, when chewing, is a common dental problem with various potential causes. Understanding these causes is vital for effective treatment and prevention. From the decay that leads to cavities to physical damage like cracked teeth, each cause has unique implications for oral health.

Let’s discuss each of these causes, offering a clear understanding of why you might be experiencing toothaches when you chew and how these issues can impact your dental health.

Dental Cavities and Decay

Dental cavities are small holes caused by decay. This decay happens when bacteria in your mouth produce acids that damage the tooth’s enamel. The presence of cavities can lead to sensitivity and pain when chewing, especially if the decay reaches the inner layers of the tooth.

Cracked or Fractured Teeth

Teeth can crack or fracture for various reasons, like biting on something hard, an injury, or general wear and tear. These cracks can be painful, especially when pressure is applied while chewing, as it can irritate the tooth’s inner, more sensitive parts.

Gum Disease and Inflammation

Gum disease, such as gingivitis, involves the inflammation and infection of the gums. This condition can cause the gums to become tender, swollen, and bleed easily. When the gums are unhealthy, they can affect the stability and health of the teeth, leading to pain during chewing.

Dental Abscess or Infection

A dental abscess is a pocket of pus caused by a bacterial infection, usually at the root of a tooth. It can cause severe and persistent pain, which may worsen when chewing. This condition requires immediate dental attention to prevent the spread of infection.

Remedies or Treatments for Toothache When Chewing

Dealing with a toothache while chewing can be distressing, but several remedies can provide relief. It’s important to choose the right approach based on the severity and cause of the toothache. Here are some of the remedies that can help with your toothaches:

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are effective for reducing tooth pain and inflammation. They work by blocking the production of pain-inducing chemicals in the body. It’s vital to follow the dosage instructions and consult a healthcare professional if you have any health conditions or are taking other medications.

Home Remedies

Home remedies can provide temporary relief from toothaches. For instance, rinsing the mouth with warm salt water can reduce swelling and kill bacteria.

Applying a cold compress to the face near the aching tooth can also help numb the pain and reduce inflammation. Clove oil, known for its pain-relieving properties, can be applied directly to the tooth or cavity for temporary relief.

Root Canal Therapy

This treatment is necessary when the tooth’s nerve, or pulp, is infected or inflamed. The oral surgeon will remove the damaged pulp, clean the inner tooth, and seal it, often followed by placing a crown for protection.


Crowns are custom-fitted coverings that are placed over a tooth. They are used when a tooth is extensively decayed, cracked, or weakened, providing strength and preventing further damage.

Dental Implants

These are a long-term solution for missing teeth. They involve fixing a metal post into the jawbone. This serves as a stable base for a false tooth. This option is considered when a tooth is beyond repair or missing.

Extraction and Replacement

In cases where a tooth is too damaged to be saved, extraction might be the best course. The missing tooth can be replaced with bridges, dentures, or dental implants to restore function and appearance.


These are used to repair cavities. The dentist removes decay and fills the cavity with a material like composite resin or amalgam, restoring the tooth’s integrity and alleviating pain.

Periodontal Treatments

For issues related to the gums, like gum disease, treatments can range from deep cleaning to more advanced procedures to restore gum health and support affected teeth.

Each treatment is tailored to the needs of the patient and the severity of the issue. It’s important to thoroughly discuss the best course of action for your case with your dentist. These treatments not only relieve pain but also help in preserving or restoring your oral health.

Toothache When Chewing

Prevention and Maintenance: Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is key to preventing toothaches when chewing. Here are some tips to help you maintain and prevent toothaches:

  • Floss after every meal
  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste using a soft-bristled brush
  • Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods
  • Wear a mouthguard if needed if you grind your teeth, as this can protect them from damage
  • Schedule routine check-ups with your dentist

Following these practices can help reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity and maintain overall dental health.

When to Seek Professional Dental Help: Recognizing the Signs

Experiencing toothache when chewing is not uncommon, but understanding when to seek expert advice or help is crucial. While occasional mild discomfort might not be alarming, certain symptoms should prompt a visit to the dentist. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • If the pain is unbearable or lasts more than a few days, it’s time to see a dentist.
  • If the gums surrounding the tooth are swollen
  • If the part of your face where the tooth is swollen
  • If sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet substances increases or becomes painful
  • If you have bleeding gums
  • If you’re losing or missing teeth

Let Dr Hanna Help Treat Your Toothaches

Understanding the causes and remedies for toothache when chewing is essential for maintaining good oral health. Regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene, and prompt attention to dental problems are key to preventing and managing toothache. Remember, each individual’s dental needs are unique, so seeking professional advice for tailored care is important.

If you’re experiencing persistent toothache or other dental issues, don’t hesitate to contact us at Hanna Dental Implant Center for expert dental advice and services. At Hanna Dental Implant Center, we can help you maintain your oral health and prevent toothaches.

We have the latest dental implant solutions in Houston, Texas, to promptly address damaged or infected teeth. Don’t wait—your smile deserves the care it needs today for a healthier tomorrow. Schedule a no-cost consultation and take the first step towards having a confident smile today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean if my teeth hurt when I chew?

If your teeth hurt when you chew, it could be a sign of various dental conditions. Common causes include dental cavities, which are holes in the teeth caused by decay, or a dental abscess, an infection at the tooth’s root or between the gum and a tooth. It might also indicate gum disease, characterized by swollen, tender gums or even a cracked tooth, which can result from wear and tear or injury.

Why do I get a toothache when I chew but no cavity?

Experiencing a toothache when chewing without a visible cavity could be due to hidden dental issues. Gum recession, leading to exposed tooth roots, can cause pain without cavities. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, often leads to toothache due to excessive pressure on the teeth. Other potential causes include sinus infections, which can exert pressure on the dental nerves, and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), affecting jaw alignment and causing pain when chewing.

How do you stop your teeth from hurting when you bite down?

To relieve tooth pain when biting down, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, to reduce inflammation and pain. Practicing gentle oral hygiene, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoiding hard or chewy foods can also help. However, if the pain persists, visiting a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment is important.

How do you fix a toothache when eating?

Addressing a toothache during eating depends on the underlying cause. For instance, fillings are used to treat cavities, while root canal treatment is necessary for a tooth with nerve damage or severe decay. Professional cleaning and specific periodontal treatments might be needed if the toothache is due to gum disease. For a cracked tooth, dental bonding, a crown, or a veneer could be the solution. In all cases, consulting with a dentist is essential for appropriate treatment.