My tooth hurts to bite on – is it a cavity?

11th April 2024

In the next of our mini-series we’ll look at decay as a cause of pain on biting.

There are many possible causes of pain from a tooth when you bite; the most common being cracked teeth; we’ve also talked about abscesses and clenching in previous blogs.

If you have a cavity in your tooth (can you feel a hole? Is something missing?) then there’s a good chance it’s going to cause you problems. Most commonly this will be sensitivity to hot or cold temperature, but it can sometimes be painful to bite on the tooth, usually if something is stuck in the cavity (food?) and when you bite it forces the object further into the tooth – ouch.

Pain on biting from a cavity is usually a shooting pain on pressure; the pain will persist if something’s stuck in the hole so if you can, you should clean out any debris and try to avoid eating food getting in this area until you’ve had it checked.

If the cavity is big enough, there’s a risk of an abscess; either way you definitely need to get it looked at as soon as you can, and your dentist will be able to advise you on what treatment you might need.


Dental caries. Filling with dental composite photopolymer material using rabbders. The concept of dental treatment in a dental clinic
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