Did you know that a human tooth contains only 4% organic material, such as blood vessels and nerves? The rest of the average human tooth is mineral like calcium and phosphorous. Bone, on the other hand, is only 70% mineral in composition. That means your teeth are even harder than your bones. However, eventually, even teeth begin to suffer from wear and tear.
If one of your teeth has started to hurt when you chew on something hard, such as ice or peanuts, you probably need urgent dental treatment. However, if you aren't able to get to the dentist immediately, try to diagnose the problem yourself first. Doing so will help you to ensure you don't damage the tooth further before your next dental appointment. The pain could be due to one of the following reasons.
You Have a Misaligned Bite
To chew comfortably, your teeth need to be in the correct alignment. In other words, your teeth should be uniform in their positioning. If even a single tooth is slightly crooked, when you chew your food, that tooth and even the teeth adjacent to that tooth, will come under more pressure than normal.
When chewing hard foods like nuts, your misaligned tooth could be making more contact with the food in question. It may also be striking your other teeth as you eat, exacerbating the problem further.
Your Tooth Has a Crack in It
Even a tiny crack can cause you considerable pain when biting down on hard foods. Moreover, the constant use of a cracked tooth will eventually break that tooth or cause the crack to worsen. The problem is, you can't always see the crack in a tooth. Sometimes, the crack starts from the root or is so small that even your dentist could struggle to find it on an x-ray.
So if you can't see any obvious cause for your dental pain, your tooth could be cracked.
The Pain Could Be Referred Pain
Because your teeth share a single nerve, the trigeminal nerve, which runs up through your jaw and into your brain, you may sometimes feel pain in an area of your mouth that is perfectly healthy. This is because the pain is being referred from another area of your mouth. As such, you may think the pain is coming from one tooth, when in fact it is coming from a nearby tooth.
This usually happens with teeth on the same side of the mouth, either next to each other or opposite each other in the upper and lower jaw. Therefore, you may be examining the wrong tooth. Check the teeth around the tooth that hurts by gently tapping them. If they hurt when you tap them, the problem lies with them.
If one of your teeth hurts after eating, this is a serious issue. Don't suffer in silence. Contact local dental services and find out exactly what is happening to your tooth.
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