Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Eat Chocolate? | CoachSweetTooth

The sweet treats are staring everywhere you go, but you can’t have them because your teeth hurt. It makes you wonder, why do my teeth hurt when I eat chocolate?

Chocolate is easy to love, but it is not the most desirable feeling when you can’t have it. But that does not mean you should stop having it. If your teeth hurt or feel sensitive when you eat chocolate, it's due to underlying reasons that you should seek help from a medical professional.

Loads of sugar and lack of consistent oral hygiene can affect your teeth and cause tooth decay, loss of enamels, gum diseases, and tooth damage. It can all make your teeth overly sensitive and cannot bear more sugar and hot and cold items. Tooth-whitening treatment can also cause teeth sensitivity.

It is not the chocolate that hurts your teeth, but the hardness and sugar in it. Your teeth might already be sensitive due to high sugar intake. Eating chocolate can increase sensitivity if it is too hard since your teeth and gums have weakened. However, giving up on chocolate is never a solution (and it shouldn’t be).

We consulted the best dentists to understand how eating chocolate can hurt the teeth. After considering various expert opinions, we put together a knowledgeable answer in this guide so you can know why chocolate hurts your teeth and what you can do about it.

Table of contents


Causes for Chocolate Sensitivity

Loss of Enamel

Enamel is the protective layer on the top of the teeth. It is the very thin but the hardest tissue of the body. If you experience a toothache or sensitivity while eating chocolate, it can be due to the enamel in your mouth having worn out or eroded.

Enamel can erode due to rigorous brushing with a stiff bristles toothbrush. It can also wear out if you eat too many acidic foods and do not practice routine oral hygiene, to wash away to acid. Fermented carbs from sugary foods and carbonated drinks combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. Until you brush your teeth, the acid sits on your teeth, weakening the enamel and eventually causing erosion.

When your teeth are exposed without their protective layer - enamel - they are left vulnerable and susceptible to sensitivity, toothache, tooth damage, etc.

Tooth Decay (Cavities)

Plaque is a sticky film that the bacteria and sugar in your mouth feed on. If the plaque is not removed from the teeth soon, it can harden and cause enamel loss. Once there is no enamel layer protecting your teeth from bacteria, it can easily enter the teeth and settle in the soft inner part of the teeth, called the dentin.

When the bacteria attacks your teeth from within, it can cause infections like tooth decay or cavities. They start by making holes in the enamel. If you do not address the concern early and do not get the holes filled by a dentist, the holes will keep getting bigger, allowing more room for sugar and acid to get in and cause pain and sensitivity.

Gum Diseases (Gingivitis)

Gum disease, also known as Gingivitis, is an infection caused in the gums due to untreated plaque or tartar. When plaque builds up in your mouth and is left unwashed due to lack of oral hygiene, it hardens and forms into tartar. This can irritate the gum and cause infection, swelling, bleeding, and inflammation. However, it can be treated if caught at early stages. If you let the gum disease become more severe, it might become untreatable, leading to tooth loss.

Receding Gums

Receding gums is bound to happen if you have poor oral hygiene or gum disease, or it can happen naturally due to the age factor. The gums are designed to protect the bone, nerves, and roots of the teeth. When they recede and leave the teeth, roots, and nerves exposed, acidic and sugary items like chocolate can hit the roots and cause pain.

Teeth-Whitening Procedures

Teeth-whitening procedures have become a popular treatment for people looking to brighten their teeth. However, these treatments involve a substance called hydrogen peroxide. This must penetrate the teeth and reach the dentin for an effective procedure. This causes extreme sensitivity and discomfort in your mouth.

If you have recently had a teeth whitening procedure, the sugar from chocolate will actively target the sensitive path, causing pain.

How it Feels - Symptoms

If you suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, eating your favorite candy bars can result in various sensations such as:

  • Aching
  • Tingling
  • Sharp and intense pain
  • Pain in your eyes, side of the face, or sinuses

What Can You Do About it? - Treatment

If you use a toothbrush with hard bristles, switch to a softer one that does not continue damaging the enamel. However, that won’t make up for the enamel loss previously. You can use specialized toothpaste designed to rebuild enamel.

You must consult the dentist if you have cavities. Untreated cavities can lead to immense pain and tooth loss. Filling the cavity holes as soon as possible will go a long way and let you enjoy your favorite treats.

Gum diseases (gingivitis) should be treated as early as possible. Regular brushing will help you get rid of them at the early stages. If the symptoms continue to exist or get more prominent, it is best to consult a dentist for the best treatment. If gingivitis is not treated timely, it leads to periodontitis, which is hard to treat and can even cause tooth loss.

If you have receding gums, you should consult a dentist. Luckily, there are several treatments for receding gums, including scaling, deep cleaning, and grafting. If the condition is not too severe, you might get away with only topical antibiotics.

The effects of a teeth-whitening procedure last a few days. If you have had it recently, try waiting for a bit before you get this procedure.



Lori Gilmore

Lori Gilmore

Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.

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