Uncovering the Link Between Toothache and Sweets

Why do My Teeth Ache When Eating Sweets?

It’s not uncommon for people to experience tooth pain when they eat sweets. This type of pain can range from mild sensitivity to an agonizing sharpness. Usually, this pain is an indicator of larger oral health problems that patients should be aware of. This article will explain the possible reasons why teeth ache when eating sweets and how to best address the issue, including treatment options that dentists typically recommend.

Why do My Teeth Ache When Eating Sweets?

Tooth Decay

The most common cause of tooth pain when eating sweets is dental decay, or cavities. When we eat sugary foods, the bacteria in our mouth convert the sugars into acid. This acid can eat away at the enamel on our teeth, causing a cavity. When a cavity is small, we may not notice any symptoms. But as it gets larger, it can cause tooth sensitivity and pain, particularly when we eat something sweet. Treatment for tooth decay typically involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the cavity with a dental filling. In cases of extremely small amounts of dental decay, cavities can be reversed; however, by the time you feel them, it is already too late

Cracked Tooth

Another reason for tooth pain when eating sweets is a cracked tooth. When we bite down on something hard, like a piece of candy, it can cause our teeth to crack. This can expose the inner layers of the tooth, which can be very sensitive. The pain from a cracked tooth may be more severe when we eat something sweet because the sugar can irritate the exposed nerve. Treatment for a cracked tooth may involve repairing the crack with a dental filling or crown, or in some cases, extracting the tooth.

Gum Disease

A third reason for tooth pain when eating sweets is gum disease. When we eat sugary foods, the bacteria in our mouths can also cause inflammation in our gums. This can cause them to become red, swollen, and painful. As the gum disease progresses, it can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, exposing the roots. This can make the teeth sensitive to sweet foods, as well as hot and cold temperatures. Treatment for gum disease typically involves a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums, followed by regular cleanings to prevent the condition from worsening.

Gum Recession

Another possible reason for tooth pain when eating sweets is gum recession. Gum recession is a condition in which the gum tissue around the teeth begins to pull back, exposing more of the tooth. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including gum disease, brushing your teeth too hard, or even genetics. Treatment for gum recession typically involves a gum graft (or pinhole gum surgery), in which healthy gum tissue is taken from another part of the mouth and used to cover the exposed roots of the teeth.

Leaking Filling or Crown

Finally, another possible reason for tooth pain when eating sweets is a leaking filling or crown. Fillings and crowns are used to repair teeth that have been damaged by decay or injury. Sometimes, however, these restorations can become loose or start to leak. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and pain, particularly when eating something sweet. Treatment for a leaking filling or crown typically involves removing the old restoration and replacing it with a new one.

What to do if Your Tooth Aches When Eating Sweets

If you have experienced toothache while eating sweets, you are not alone. Many individuals have experienced this uncomfortable sensation, which can be caused by a variety of underlying factors. Here are some steps you can take if your tooth aches when eating sweets:

  1. Identify the cause of the toothache: The first step in addressing toothache is to determine the underlying cause. If it isn’t possible for you to figure out the cause by yourself, we recommend you see a dentist. Your dentist will be able to determine the underlying cause of the toothache and recommend the appropriate treatment.
  2. Use pain relief medication: Over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be effective in relieving toothache while eating sweets. Always follow the instructions on the medication label and consult with your dentist before taking any medication. In severe cases of toothache, your dentist may prescribe a stronger pain medication to help alleviate the discomfort.
  3. Use a cold compress: Applying a cold compress, such as a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel, to the affected tooth can help numb the pain and reduce swelling.
  4. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater: Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth with the solution. Saltwater can help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, which can help alleviate toothache. However, saltwater for toothaches isn’t as effective as pain relief medication or other treatment options.
  5. Avoid hot and cold foods and drinks: Extreme temperatures can exacerbate toothache and sensitivity. Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks, and opt for room temperature or lukewarm options instead.
  6. Practice good oral hygiene: Once the dentist has treated the root cause of the problem it is important to practice good oral hygiene to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing regularly to remove plaque and food debris, and using mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath. It is also important to limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as these can contribute to tooth decay and other dental problems.


In short, tooth pain when eating sweets can be a sign of tooth decay, a cracked tooth, gum disease, gum recession, or a leaking filling or crown. If you’re experiencing tooth pain when eating sweets, it’s important to see a dentist. They can help diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend the appropriate treatment.


The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nothing on this website constitutes the practice of medicine, law or any other regulated profession.

No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.


Less dental work is healthier for you. Learn what you can do to minimize the cost of dental procedures and avoid the dentist altogether!

Let dentists show you how

Leave a Reply