Dentist Questions Teeth, And Gum Care

Biting down on side of cheek when eating

In the last month, every time I eat- my left teeth/molars are biting down on my cheek causing me to bleed and it is very painful. I am 26, I had braces when I was younger and stopped wearing my retainer years ago. I am not sure what is causing this. Would it be that my teeth have shifted? What can I do to resolve this?

21 Answers

Depending on your bite you will have a few options to correct this.
If the problem persists , there
May have been some recent
Movement of the teeth causing this issue.
If the teeth in the back are meeting edge to edge , something has to be done to
make the upper teeth protrude a
little the easiest thing is to
Put a filling on the outside
Of the tooth that should help
To correct cheek biting, careful reshaping and equilibration of the teeth will usually correct this. Reducing and reshaping the buccal occlusal surfaces of the mandibular
teeth (mostly molars), will prevent the cheek from getting caught between the maxillary and mandibular molars.

It sounds as if you have a chronic swelling from continued biting of the
affected cheek area. There may have been some shifting or movement of the
teeth that would lead to this problem. It may be possible to reshape some
of the teeth that are causing you to bite your cheek. We would try to have
the cheek deflect off of the teeth, instead of getting caught between
them. Good luck with your treatment.
Mitchell Karl
Cheek biting is a result of malalignment so the cheek ends up between the biting cusps o the teeth in certain movements
Realignments and taking away shap points help
Let an orthodontist check you out to see if your teeth have moved, preferably the one who put you in braces. You could have your dentist grind the outside cusps of the molars that biting your cheek which may or may not be permanent fix.
Sorry to hear about your situation. If this is a common problem for you then yes, this could be the result of dental relapse and your upper teeth narrowing after you stopped wearing your retainer. What prevents you from biting your cheek every time you bite down is the horizontal overlap of your upper teeth over your lowers-- meaning your upper teeth are about half a tooth wider than the lower teeth. If you don't have that overlap you might want to consider seeing an orthodontist to help you reestablish a proper bite. If biting your cheek isn't a common problem for you then probably just bit down funny and caught it. Unfortunately once you have bitten your cheek once it swells and it is easier to bite it again until it heals. I would recommend warm salt water rinses 2-3 times per day in the mean time with really good brushing and flossing so everything stays clean and it can heal as fast as possible. Best of luck!

Dr. Mark Padilla
Board Certified Orthodontist
Many times teeth can shift if the retainer is not worn. It sometimes just may be that the cheek is swollen due to teeth grinding or cheek biting whereby you may need to wear an appliance or nightguard until the swelling and chronic trauma is resolved
Several things can cause you to bite your cheek. Be aware that if you bite it once, especially as hard as it seems you did, your cheek will swell up and you will then keep biting it. Have your dentist take a look and see what's going on.
To Whom It May Concern,

It is difficult to say exactly why you are biting your cheek without a thorough clinical examination. The 2 most likely reasons are 1) a bruxism habit (grinding/clenching), which is notorious for causing linea alba (white line) inside the cheeks or 2) a supererupted upper molar (usually a wilson tooth). There are other possible etiologies as well. In any case, the final diagnosis should only be made chairside. I hope this helps.

Professionally yours,
Dr. Robert D. Lipschutz=20
You may be experiencing a number of things. First off, you may have periodontitis which is gum disease with bone loss. This could explain the pain and bleeding. You may also have a cracked tooth or a cavity. It is hard to diagnose properly without necessary x-rays and a complete clinical exam. I would recommend an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Since you haven't been wearing your retainers, it is likely that your teeth have shifted and that could be causing you to bite your cheek. I suggest that you see a dentist to evaluate that and to be sure that there isn't a growth on your cheek that is the cause of the problem
If possible go back to your orthodontist that straightens your teeth and let him or her see if a cross-bite has recurred perhaps as a result of leaving your wisdom teeth in too long. It won't help that you quit wearing your retainers as that is a lifelong commitment to ensure proper positioning of your teeth depending on how severe your original problem was. This would be the most simple reason without getting into complexity of specific tooth loss in the area where you are having chromatic occlusion which could be investigated by your dentist should the former not yield results. I would see the orthodontist first
Cheek biting is a pain and a nuisance, but it usually doesn't last. The tongue and cheek are 'mold-able' muscles and usually will mold out of the way of your teeth. You might need to see a dentist to make sure that there is no growth or scar tissue forming. Your teeth can move at anytime but usually will stay in place because of the pressure the cheek and tongue applies to them. I doubt that is it. I have no good answer to solve your problem here except to say that it usually doesn't last forever. Good luck.
There could be different reasons for biting your cheeks. Since you are young, my guess would be that you have a tooth growing in sideways which could be a wisdom tooth or possibly one of your other teeth that have shifted due to not wearing your retainers. I would have it checked out.
There could be many causes but it would be good to start with your orthodontist to evaluate your bite changes. If you need a dentist, call the office of Dr. Brad Emery, Dr. Nicholas Emery and Dr. Carol Scuro, at 585-247-7110. Or check out our website at
Without seeing your teeth, I will only assume your teeth are shifting causing you to include differently when you eat. Make a visit back to your orthodontist and have a consult.
It is most likely that you need to wear a special bite guard at night as you may be suffering from TMJ. A dentist knowledgeable on TMJ and bite appliances such as a CRA or SCI, is the person to see.
There are a few reasons this may be happening. The more common cause of this happening is the wisdom teeth are erupting or have completely erupted, and they are angled in such a way that they pinch your cheeks upon grinding your food. Shifting of the teeth or any recent dental changes may also cause you to alter your bite and this too may cause involuntary cheek-biting.
A very common cause of situation of what you are describing shall be teeth shifting or whether the teeth in the back have been moved orthodontically or due to relapse such that you started to develop such situation.

Usually some tooth adjustments and bite or occlusal adjustments shall help from your dentist. It may not be complete resoution unless the teeth are moved back to appropriate position. Try to talk tp your orthodontist and he or she may be able to help with the situation.
Hope this helps.

Devang Shah DMD.

It is possible that your teeth have shifted. And sometimes when you bite your cheek it's easy to bite it again and again. An evaluation of your bite by a dentist will help determine what's going on!