Why Does My Back Tooth Hurt When I Bite Down? Exploring the Causes

Why Does My Back Tooth Hurt When I Bite Down? Exploring the Causes

July 1, 2023

Dealing with tooth pain can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience, especially when it is triggered by something as routine as biting down. If you’ve ever experienced pain in your back tooth when chewing or biting down, you know how distracting and sometimes debilitating it can be. There are various reasons why your back tooth may hurt when you bite down, and understanding the underlying causes can help you address the issue and seek appropriate treatment.

Possible Causes of Back Tooth Pain When Biting Down

Why does your back tooth hurt when you bite down? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Dental decay can cause pain when biting down. This is because the pressure of biting down puts stress on the decayed area, causing pain. If left untreated, decay can worsen and lead to further damage to the tooth.
  • A cracked or chipped tooth. The pressure of biting down can worsen, exposing the nerve endings in the tooth and causing pain. Depending on the severity, your dentist may recommend a filling, crown, or other treatment.
  • Loose filling. A loose or damaged filling can also cause pain when biting down. This is because the filling no longer fits snugly in the tooth, allowing food and bacteria to enter and cause irritation and pain.
  • Gum disease can cause pain and sensitivity in teeth, including biting down. This is because the bacteria and inflammation associated with gum disease can cause your gums to recede, exposing the sensitive roots of your teeth.
  • Tooth sensitivity occurs because the pressure of biting down can cause the nerve endings in the tooth to react, causing pain. Your dentist can recommend treatments to reduce tooth sensitivity, such as desensitizing toothpaste, fluoride treatments, or a mouthguard for teeth grinding.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Diagnosing the cause of back tooth pain when biting down involves thorough dental exams near you and evaluation of your symptoms. Your dentist may visually inspect your teeth and gums and take X-rays to better look at the affected tooth. Once your dentist has identified the underlying cause of your tooth pain, they can recommend an appropriate treatment plan to address the issue and relieve your discomfort.

There are some of the common treatment options for back tooth pain:

  • Dental filling

Dental fillings repair teeth damaged by decay or cavities. The procedure involves removing the decayed part and filling the space with a durable material to restore the tooth’s functionality and appearance. Dental fillings help prevent further decay and preserve the tooth’s structure, allowing for normal chewing and speaking abilities.

  • Root canal therapy

The procedure involves removing the infected canals, cleaning them, and sealing them to prevent reinfection. Root canal therapy relieves pain, restores oral health, and allows the tooth to be preserved, eliminating the need for extraction and maintaining proper chewing and biting function.

  • Tooth extraction

Tooth removal is performed when a tooth is severely damaged, decayed, infected, or causing overcrowding. Tooth extraction can alleviate pain, prevent the spread of infection, and create space for orthodontic treatment or the placement of dental prosthetics like dentures or implants.

  • Bite adjustment:

Bite or occlusal adjustment treatment involves carefully reshaping the biting surfaces of the teeth to achieve a more balanced and harmonious bite relationship. By ensuring proper alignment and distribution of forces during biting and chewing, bite adjustment treatment can relieve pain, prevent further damage to the teeth and jaw, and restore normal oral function.

Prevention and Home Remedies

Prevention starts with maintaining good oral hygiene practices. Regular brushing removes plaque and prevents tooth decay, which can lead to sensitivity and pain. Additionally, avoiding or limiting sugary foods and acidic beverages can help prevent tooth erosion and sensitivity.

Home remedies can provide temporary relief for tooth pain when biting down. Rinsing the mouth with warm saline can help reduce inflammation and ease discomfort.

Applying an ice pack to the affected area can also provide numbing and soothing effects.

These prevention and home remedies can reduce your risk of back tooth pain and maintain good oral health. However, if you experience persistent or severe tooth pain, seeing your dentist near you for proper diagnosis and treatment is important.


Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, taking preventative measures like wearing a mouthguard, and avoiding sugary or acidic foods can help reduce your risk of tooth pain. Visit Main Dentistry if you experience persistent or severe tooth pain to ensure good oral health.

The Most Ambitious Book Project in The History of Dentistry

Alpha Dentistry vol. 1- Digital Orthodontics (ASSEMBLED Edition)