Eating is a basic function. You need to do it to live, and you should be able to do it without any kind of discomfort. But if you are experiencing discomfort, you may have serious dental problems that need attention. Here are some symptoms to look out for that may signal dental problems.

Food Gets Stuck in Teeth

Pretty woman eating popcornIf you get food stuck between your teeth, it can be a minor nuisance, if the food is soft, or it can be quite painful if it’s a hard seed or other particle that pushes your teeth apart.

Cause: You’re more likely to get food stuck between your teeth if your teeth are crooked. But you might also be more likely to get food in between your teeth if your teeth are starting to loosen because of gum disease. The force of chewing is sufficient that it can force food between your teeth before you notice any significant mobility in your teeth, so this should be taken as a warning sign.

Treatment: Orthodontics can help if crooked teeth are the primary cause of getting food stuck. At the early stages of gum disease, you might not need anything more than changes to oral hygiene: brush and floss regularly and see your dentist.

Food Poking Gums

If you’re eating crisps or another hard, brittle food that starts poking into your gums or getting between your gums and teeth, it can be painful, and put you off some of your favourite treats.

Cause: This is a sign you’ve developing gum disease. Your gums are losing their firmness, becoming inflamed, and are pulling away from your teeth.

Treatment: We use advanced gum treatment, which can be accomplished without the need for blades or scrapers on your gums. We use only lasers, which can clean out bacteria from your gum pockets more comfortably.

Biting Down Hurts Teeth

Pressure sensitivity with teeth can occur with any type of hard food. These hard food particles press back against your teeth. Normally, your teeth should be able to resist this pressure, but if there are problems, you might experience discomfort.

Cause: The cause is a defect in your tooth enamel. This can be related to a cavity, tooth erosion, or a poorly designed filling or other restoration.

Treatment: The enamel defect should be restored. This may mean filling a cavity, restoring or  replacing a restoration, or covering the tooth with a dental crown.

Sensitivity to Heat and Cold

When you drink hot tea or eat cold ice cream, you feel a shooting pain in or around your tooth.

Cause: There are many possible causes to tooth sensitivity. Metal restorations can increase sensitivity. Gum disease can expose tooth roots, which are more sensitive. Small cracks and cavities can allow temperature to penetrate more deeply. And some people just have more sensitive teeth.

The most serious cause is an infected tooth. Often, if you have an infected tooth the pain will be very severe and will linger for a prolonged period.

Treatment: Depending on the cause, the treatment may range from special toothpaste to a root canal.

Jaw Pain after Eating

Sometimes eating a hard to chew meal can make you feel like you’ve just had the worst workout of your life. You might feel jaw pain in your muscles or in your joints.

Cause: Your jaw is designed to be able to chew challenging meals. If you have soreness afterward, something is wrong. It’s likely that you have or are developing TMJ.

Treatment: For minor cases, you can treat TMJ at home, but if the pain persists, you should come in for treatment.

If you are experiencing pain when eating, we can help you track down the cause and fix any problems. Please call (02) 9686 7375  for an appointment with a dentist in the Baulkham Hills area of Sydney.