Why does my tooth hurt when I eat something sweet?: Here’s why!

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Biting on sweets is going to bite you back and you will be wondering “why does my tooth hurt when I eat something sweet”. There is no need to sugarcoat this. We all know candies, and other kinds of sweets damage your teeth.

If you’re suffering from such a case, no apple will do the job of keeping a dentist away and getting examined by your dentist. This simple problem might be deeper than you think.

So, this article is for you to dive into the possibilities of why your teeth might hurt after eating unhealthy snacks.

Possible reasons why your tooth or teeth hurt when you eat sweets

Have you taken a bite of a candy bar and felt like the pain hits right on your tooth or set of teeth? Well, it’s unfortunate to say buy in most cases, it’s due to a lack of oral hygiene. No one can stand tooth pain and it should be taken care of ASAP before it worsens and results in an unwanted situation like tooth loss.

There might be different reasons why you feel pain in the tooth while eating something sweet: 

  • You may have enamel loss
  • You may have cavities
  • You may have tooth damage
  • You may have gum disease
  • You may have gum recession
  • You had gone through teeth whitening treatments

In most cases, you should be able to follow proper hygiene to reverse the effects, without the dentist’s help. Let’s go into the details of these issues one by one.

You may have cavities

One of the reasons to have a toothache is because of cavities. Eating or drinking something sweet is one of the main causes that lead to cavity formation, and if you still continue having sweet foods while having already dug up teeth; it will only dig deeper and deeper with unbearable pain.

You should try your best to avoid eating something sweet if you have cavities. Visit a dentist to have your cavities cleaned and filled professionally. And keep in mind that your second best friend is a toothbrush.

You may have tooth damage

Trauma often comes from accidents that crack a tooth. If sugars find a loophole to sneak into your nerve endings, it won’t be a good day for you because this is not testing your patience, it’s constant intense pain. Food and liquids whether hot or cold are also going to be painful. The pain can be doubled if the food or beverages contains sugars.

Pay a visit to your dentist to have your tooth examined. If the tooth crack reaches the gum line; it’s most likely to be extracted. However, if it’s only chipped, the tooth can be saved.

You may have enamel loss

Enamel, the outer layer is the protective layer of a tooth. The guardian of the tooth if you may. It is the reason your tooth sensitivity is low. If you see no black spots like tooth decay or anything fishy and still experience pain when you eat sweets, then it’s just your enamel layer on a tooth or two are washed away.

Loss of enamel is a gateway to a chain of problems because the stakes are higher for your tooth to decay and turn into a cavity. In addition to the pain that comes with cavities,  they might also get infected and cause swollen gums.

Two things you can avoid doing to keep your enamel intact and healthy are brushing your teeth too hard and eating acidic food.

You may have gum disease

Gum disease comes in different shapes. and with different causes, but all of them are caused by one thing; bacteria.

No one is telling you “Do not eat sweet food”, but also, poor oral hygiene will backfire on you; cleaning your teeth daily is a must because plaque can build up quicker than you think, and it’s also invisible. Then it turns to tartar, which is the hardened form of plaque and is very visible. It’s already not favorable for your teeth to grind on sugary foods, adding more fuel to the fire that is painful and swollen gums.

You can make the fire cool down by brushing your teeth in a circular motion, flossing, and avoiding alcohol-based mouthwash. Otherwise, you will be needing to call a firefighter for a dental appointment.

You may have gum recession

If the fire was not taken down in time, it will melt down your gums from your teeth and expose your tooth roots.

Periodontal disease is the gateway to having your gum tissue look like rolled-up sleeves. Bacterial pockets begin to grow right at the baseline of your tooth. The less your mouth is cleaned the more bacteria are collected in the gums. And sweets especially will take a major role in it if you have a lot of sugar intake; the acids will dissolve the gums and it is painful to eat afterward, whether it’s sugars or food in general.

You had gone through teeth whitening treatments

There is nothing wrong with teeth whitening, it gives a confident smile. But you should have in mind that you must carefully plan your daily diet afterwards, for both aesthetic longevity and tooth health.

Be aware that after teeth whitening treatments, teeth are extremely sensitive and vulnerable. You will put yourself in a chain of problems if you eat sweets.

There is a chance that consuming sweets right after teeth whitening treatments can negatively affect the results, and quickly too. It can cause pain in your tooth, and gums, and can mess with the esthetic look by staining the teeth.

But why sweets and not anything else?

The sugar intake decreases the Ph (potential hydrogen) level in your body, which you can regulate by the foods you eat, and drinking water. That’s why they say “stay hydrated”. The intention for it is to have better health.

In-depth, the more you have sugary food in your food diet, the more your saliva becomes acidic. The more acidic your saliva is, the higher chance that your own saliva damages your oral tissues, both gums, and teeth.

Reverse the cycle by eating food that has high Ph (alkaline foods). Veggies have top-tier alkalinity, so, fill up your tummy with those instead of munchies. In this way, you will balance the acidity and alkaline level in your saliva, and will have better oral health. Also, don’t forget to drink enough water!

What kinds of sweets should be avoided?

Avoid food that contains artificial sweeteners, and actual sugar itself. Gum, gummy bears, sour candy, chocolate bars, and sweet-flavored cereals, etc. These types of sweets are sticky sweets.

Avoid liquids like soft drinks, milkshakes, and smoothies. Even liquids can damage your solid, tough teeth, and even push them to your nerves that cause pain. So, instead of having fruit juice like orange juice, grab fresh fruit and eat it as is.

“You are what you eat”. Having a better choice of food saves your teeth from pain, and blood from clotting, aka diabetes. In the end, you will be orally healthy as well as physically healthy.

How does candy pain feels like?

Sharp pain is one of the most common type of pain that can occur to someone, it happens usually when one bites onto candy, and BAM, sudden pain in your sensitive teeth. It is usually the back teeth that hurt because it’s most used for chewing.

Sometimes the pain goes to the next level. If the pulp of the tooth is triggered badly (especially by something sweet), your nerves will be like guitar strings waving 1000 times in a second; the pain will travel through your tooth to your jawbone, to your ears, and even to the tip of your fingers.

My teeth hurt when I eat sweets but I don’t have a cavity

In different scenarios, there might not be any symptoms, and yet you could be experiencing discomfort when you eat sweets. You might have a weak enamel layer that lacks proper protection, and genetics might be involved in this. The solution for this problem is either crowns or fillings.

There might be a plot twist in other scenarios, like having cavities from inside. It might not ache at first but then it can hit like a train out of nowhere. Those can be hard to be detected with the naked eye, that’s why doctors use x-ray photos to spot any issues like internal cavities before a procedure.


Baliga S, Muglikar S, Kale R. Salivary pH: A diagnostic biomarker. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2013 Jul;17(4):461-5. doi: 10.4103/0972-124X.118317. PMID: 24174725; PMCID: PMC3800408.

Moynihan, P. (2016). Sugars and Dental Caries: Evidence for Setting a Recommended Threshold for Intake. Advances in Nutrition, 7(1), 149–156. doi:10.3945/an.115.009365

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