Symptoms A-Z

Tooth Pain That Makes Chewing Difficult Symptoms & Causes

Understand tooth pain that makes chewing difficult symptoms, including 7 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 7 Possible Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

7 Possible Tooth Pain That Makes Chewing Difficult Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced tooth pain that makes chewing difficult. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Temporomandibular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction is often caused by a variety of factors, including daily habits, your teeth alignment, and even stress. It usually affects one side of the jaw, but in some people it can affect both sides. People with TMJ dysfunction will typically experience pain on one side of the face that is worse with chewing, yawning, or other movements of the jaw. With some simple changes in your daily habits and other at-home treatments, most people with TMJ dysfunction will experience relief of their symptoms within weeks.

Treatment for temporomandibular joint dysfunction usually includes avoiding eating hard foods or foods that require a lot of chewing. Good posture and relaxation techniques may help relieve tension in the muscles that connect to your temporomandibular joint. In people who clench or grind their teeth, a mouth guard worn at night (and fitted by your dentist) may also help relieve your symptoms. Pain relievers, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), can also help.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: dizziness, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, history of headaches, jaw pain, pain in the back of the neck

Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibular joint (tmj) dysfunction disorder: pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Dental cavity

A dental cavity (caries) is an infection of the tooth, which is the result of long-term acid production by bacteria that sit on your teeth. This can result in pain and the spread of infection into the tooth pulp, and, if untreated, into your jaw bone or bloodstream. The development of a cavity is highly dependent on your lifestyle and is largely a preventable disease. Poor dental hygiene, a diet high in sugar, and the presence of aggressive bacteria in your mouth increase the risk of development of cavities. Once you have a cavity, it is important to see a dentist and have the cavity filled and improve oral hygiene at the recommendation of a dentist. Filing a cavity can protect against the spread of infection and improve your symptoms. Failure to fill a cavity may result in removal of the tooth (extraction) or cleaning/drilling into your jaw (root canal).

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: dry mouth, toothache, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult, pain in the top row of teeth, tooth pain that gets worse with hot, cold, or sweet beverages

Symptoms that never occur with dental cavity: spontanenous tooth pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Tooth abscess (infection)

A tooth abscess is a collection of infected material (pus) in the center of a tooth. It is due to bacterial infection.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: severe jaw or tooth pain, swollen jaw, jaw stiffness, tooth pain that gets worse with hot, cold, or sweet beverages, warm and red jaw swelling

Symptoms that always occur with tooth abscess (infection): severe jaw or tooth pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Severe cavity

Dental cavity requiring a root canal or tooth extraction.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: dry mouth, toothache, spontanenous tooth pain, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult

Symptoms that always occur with severe cavity: spontanenous tooth pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Infected wisdom tooth (pericoronitis)

Pericoronitis of the 3rd molar is an infection of the gums surrounding the 3rd molar (wisdom tooth). It almost never happens to normal teeth because wisdom teeth take a long time to break the gums (erupt). It's believed that once the wisdom tooth breaks the surface of the gums, the bacteria in the mouth get into the gums at that spot and cause an infection. This is also worsened by food particles that build up in the area.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: possible wisdom tooth pain, moderate tooth pain, tooth pain that makes chewing difficult, severe tooth pain, mild tooth pain

Symptoms that always occur with infected wisdom tooth (pericoronitis): possible wisdom tooth pain

Urgency: In-person visit

Acute viral sinusitis

Acute viral sinusitis, also called viral rhinosinusitis or "sinus infection," occurs when viruses take hold and multiply in the sinus cavities of the face.

It is most often caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold and spreads the same way, through an infected person's coughing or sneezing.

Because children have small, underdeveloped sinuses, this illness is far more common in adults.

Symptoms include clear nasal discharge (not greenish or yellowish,) fever, and pain if facial sinuses are pressed.

If there is rash, severe fatigue, or neurologic symptoms (seizures, loss of sensation, weakness, or partial paralysis,) see a medical provider to rule out more serious conditions.

Diagnosis can usually be made through history and examination alone.

Antibiotics only work against bacteria and cannot help against a viral illness. Therefore, treatment consists of rest, fluids, and fever/pain reducers such as ibuprofen. (Do not give aspirin to children.) Symptoms of viral sinusitis last for about seven to ten days. As with the common cold, the best prevention is frequent and thorough handwashing.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: headache, cough, sinusitis symptoms, sore throat, congestion

Symptoms that always occur with acute viral sinusitis: sinusitis symptoms

Symptoms that never occur with acute viral sinusitis: being severely ill

Urgency: Self-treatment

Acute bacterial sinusitis

Acute bacterial sinusitis, also called bacterial rhinosinusitis or "sinus infection," has symptoms much like viral rhinosinusitis but a different treatment.

Any sinusitis usually begins with common cold viruses. Sometimes a secondary bacterial infection takes hold. Like cold viruses, these bacteria can be inhaled after an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Anyone with viral sinusitis, upper-respiratory allergy, nasal passage abnormality, lung illness, or a weakened immune system is more prone to bacterial sinusitis.

Symptoms include thick yellowish or greenish nasal discharge; one-sided pain in the upper jaw or teeth; one-sided sinus pain and pressure; fatigue; fever; and symptoms that get worse after first improving.

See a doctor right away for severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, or vision changes. These can indicate a medical emergency.

Diagnosis is made with a simple examination in the doctor's office.

Bacterial sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics, but this is not always necessary. Often rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers and decongestants are enough.

Prevention is done through good lifestyle and hygiene to keep the immune system strong.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, headache, cough, sinusitis symptoms, muscle aches

Symptoms that always occur with acute bacterial sinusitis: sinusitis symptoms

Symptoms that never occur with acute bacterial sinusitis: clear runny nose, being severely ill

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Tooth Pain That Makes Chewing Difficult

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Has your dentist or significant other ever told you that you grind your teeth in your sleep?
  • Were you hit or injured anywhere on your face? If so, where?
  • Is this tooth on the upper row (maxilla) or lower row (mandible)?
  • Do you take good care of your teeth?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having tooth pain that makes chewing difficult

Tooth Pain That Makes Chewing Difficult Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced tooth pain that makes chewing difficult have also experienced:

  • 6% Toothache
  • 5% Gum Pain
  • 5% Jaw Pain

People who have experienced tooth pain that makes chewing difficult were most often matched with:

  • 36% Dental Cavity
  • 36% Tooth Abscess (Infection)
  • 27% Temporomandibular Joint (Tmj) Dysfunction Disorder

People who have experienced tooth pain that makes chewing difficult had symptoms persist for:

  • 41% Less than a week
  • 31% Less than a day
  • 11% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Tooth Pain That Makes Chewing Difficult Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having tooth pain that makes chewing difficult