When you bite down do you feel a sharp pain? It quickly disappears and perhaps you ignore it. You avoid certain foods or chew on one side of your mouth. Does this sound familiar? You may have a cracked tooth!
A cracked tooth hurts because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open. When you stop biting, the pressure is released and a sharp pain results as the crack quickly closes.
Even though the crack may be microscopic and may not show on an x-ray, when it opens, the pulp inside the tooth becomes irritated. The pulp is a soft tissue that contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. If the crack irritates the pulp, the tooth may become sensitive to temperature extremes. If the pulp becomes damaged or diseased root canal treatment may be necessary to save the tooth.
Treatment of cracked teeth:
Simple Crack: The majority of cracked teeth (about 8 out of 10) can be treated by placement of a simple crown (cap) on the tooth. When tooth is prepared for the crown and a temporary restoration is placed, the pain usually leaves immediately. If this is the case with your tooth, we will place the final crown without a problem on your next appointment. This condition should then be solved.
Complex Crack: Occasionally, (about 2 in 10) the tooth cracks into the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. If pain persists after placement of temporary crown, you may have a crack into the pulp of the affected tooth. This tooth may require root canal treatment before the crown is placed.
Regular dental checkups are important. They allow problems to be diagnosed and treated in the early stages. We are accepting new patients, so call our office today to schedule your new patient consultation!