Why Does My Tooth Hurt? Part 2: Cracked Tooth

You think you have a cracked tooth? Did you just bit hard into that hard candy or you just think a tooth doesn’t feel completely right? Please know that cracked tooth is not always apparent and it may be difficult, even for a trained dentist to figure out sometimes whether a tooth is truly cracked or not. Symptoms of a cracked tooth include pain while chewing; most telling-sharp pain. Sometimes, a cracked tooth hurts when you drink very cold or very hot liquids.  When the outer layer (enamel) of your tooth is cracked, the pieces may move around. As you bite on that tooth, the crack continues to open more and that causes more pain.  This in turn can irritate the inside of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are; causing you to feel pain to cold and/or hot. If the inside of the tooth (the pulp) becomes inflamed and damaged, it may require a root canal to save the tooth.

If you have any of these symptoms, or you think you may have a cracked tooth, see a Sugar Land dentist right away. It is important to act immediately before the crack expands and the tooth gets more damaged, in order to save the cracked tooth.

Why do Teeth Crack?

  • Biting or chewing on hard things or foods such as ice, hard candy
  • Being hit in the head or mouth
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Large dental fillings
  • Teeth with existing root canals are more brittle thus more prone to crack
  • Any other stress on a tooth

How to Detect It?

Determining if you actually have a cracked tooth can be pretty challenging because sometimes it is hard to tell which tooth hurts. You may not even be able to tell which tooth hurts or whether the pain is from an upper or lower tooth. It is always a good idea to make some notes before going to the dentist with any tooth pain. For example: does it hurt when you eat sweets, drink ice cold water or hot tea? Does the pain go away after you remove the stimulus (hot/cold) or it lingers?

Of course, a family dentistry practice will perform a clinical exam, as well as x-rays. Still, the fracture line on a cracked tooth may be very thin and in such a position that is sometimes impossible to determine for sure if the tooth is cracked or not. Still, experienced dentists will come to the right diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan based on the exam, x-rays, as well as your symptoms.

What to Do About It?

The treatment of cracked tooth depends on the location and the extent of the crack.

  • Bonding is “gluing” together the cracked fragments with the use of special dental materials. This can only be done in certain cases, when the crack is really small and in such a position to allow for bonding.
  • Root canal treatment. Sometimes, the crack can be “incorporated” in the root canal treatment; when the crack is in such location to allow for this.
  • Extraction of the tooth. Unfortunately, sometimes the crack is too wide and in such a location that the tooth cannot be saved.

If you feel any pain, especially sharp pain when biting, or when eating sweets and/or drinking clod/hot liquids, it is best that you call and schedule an appointment to have that checked up. Cracked teeth can be treated when the size of the crack is still small and the location of the crack allows for treatment.

At Imperial Dental Center, our experienced dental team lead by Dr. Angelova is happy to provide you with the latest technological solutions to treat your cracked tooth.