Why Do Teeth Hurt When You Chew Gum?

Pain while chewing gum is not a normal experience, and while it usually only gives you fresh breath and improves alertness, it can unexpectedly trigger discomfort. Let’s find out why your teeth hurt so much when you eat gum.

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    7 Reasons For Tooth Pain While Eating Gum

    There are multiple reasons for your teeth to hurt while eating a stick of gum. Some of the common ones are explained below.

    1. Gum Receding From Line
      Receding gums is a phenomenon that occurs when the gum tissues surrounding the teeth pull back, exposing more of the tooth. This wearing of tissues exposes the roots, making your teeth sensitive. Although gingival recession itself does not make your teeth hurt when you eat gum, it can make the affected teeth extremely sensitive to pressure.


      A few contributing factors to this issue include:

      1. Aggressive tooth brushing
      2. Trauma to the gums
      3. Teeth grinding (bruxism)
      4. Misaligned teeth
      5. Gum disease (periodontitis)
    2. Large Cavity
      Advanced tooth decay causes pain when you bite down. As the cavity infiltration progresses, it reaches the inner tooth layer – dentin, and eventually the pulp nerve. The nerve ending is very sensitive to external stimuli and sends sharp shooting pain impulses upon contact.
    3. Dental Abscess
      When you find a bump in your gums, it may be a pocket of pus that forms at the tip of a tooth’s root. Mainly, you have a bacterial infection to blame that spreads from the pulp to the surrounding tissues. A dental abscess causes severe, throbbing pain that may radiate to the ear, jaw, or neck, too. Chewing gum or biting down on the affected teeth can make them hurt.
    4. Occlusion Issues
      If a tooth, filling, or crown does not properly align with the opposing tooth, it can cause pain when you bite down. The extra pressure on the misaligned tooth leads to discomfort and pain.
    5. Tooth Sensitivity
      Tooth sensitivity can result from various factors, such as tooth decay, gum recession, or regular enamel wear and tear. When the inner teeth layers, like dentin, lose their protective covering and become exposed, it makes the entire structure sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. Eating gum, especially if it contains sugar or other irritants, can make your teeth hurt.
    6. Jaw Muscle Tension
      Chewing gum exerts tension force in the jaw muscles that often leads to pain and discomfort in the jaw, neck, along with the head. This is true if you chew gum frequently or for an extended period.
    7. Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD)
      Chronic gum chewing can contribute to temporomandibular dysfunction, a condition that affects temporomandibular joint and surrounding muscles. TMD causes pain and discomfort in the jaw, neck, and may worsen by chewing gum.
    Questions About Why Do Teeth Hurt When You Chew Gum??

    Closing Note

    If you are constantly experiencing pain when biting down or if your teeth hurt after you eat gum, it is crucial to consult with a dentist. They can determine the underlying cause to suggest and get on with appropriate treatment. Ignoring tooth pain can lead to more serious complications, such as the spread of infection or the loss of the tooth.

    If you have more questions, get in touch with Dr. Sharath Chandra V Chedella, FRCD(C). He is board-certified by the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States. You can find him practicing at EPIC Dental Specialist and can connect through (709) 754-4895.

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