Cracked Tooth/Crowns

Do You Have a Cracked Tooth?

Why Does a Tooth Crack?

A tooth may crack due to:

  • chewing on hard objects or foods such as ice, nuts or hard candy
  • an accident, such as a blow to the mouth
  • grinding and clenching your teeth
  • uneven chewing pressure
  • loss of tooth structure through wear, large fillings or other restorations
  • exposure of tooth enamel to extreme hot cold, such as when you eat hot food followed by drinking ice water
  • brittleness of teeth with root canals
small crack
A small crack in the tooth
crack widens when teeth bite down
Crack widens when teeth bite down

How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the size and location of the crack and the symptoms you are experiencing. Your dentist will talk with you about which treatment is best for your tooth. It is possible that your dentist will recommend no treatment at all, since tiny cracks are common and usually do not cause problems.If you have pain, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call your dentist.

Examples of treatments include:

  • repairing the tooth with a filling material
  • placing a crown (cap) to protect the tooth from further damage
  • endodontic (root canal) treatment if pulp is involved
  • extracting (taking out) the tooth if the tooth is severely cracked and cannot be saved

Regular dental checkups are important. They let your dentist diagnose and treat problems in the early stage. A cracked tooth can become a bigger problem if left untreated. if you think you may have a cracked tooth, visit your dentist.

Do You Have a Cracked Tooth?

A tooth that is cracked can be painful. A crack can also lead to disease of the tooth. How do you know if you have a cracked tooth? Look for these signs

  • You have sharp pain when biting down that quickly disappears.
  • You have pain that comes and goes, but does not hurt all the time.
  • You feel pain when eating or drinking
  • You may have no pain at all.

How Can You Tell if a Tooth is Cracked?

It can be hard to tell if you have a cracked tooth. If you have pain, you may not even be able to tell which tooth hurts or whether the pain is from an upper or lower tooth. Cracks are sometimes invisible to the eye and may not show up on an x-ray
You can help your dentist find the problem tooth by sharing the following:

  • what things cause you pain (such as heat or cold, or foods that are sweet, sour or sticky)
  • the area of the pain

Why Does a Cracked Tooth Hurt?

A cracked tooth may hurt because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open. When you stop biting, the pressure is released and the pain goes away. Even though the crack may be too small to see, when it opens, the pulp inside the tooth may become 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 extreme heat and cold. The pulp can also become damaged or diseased as a result of the crack. In that case, endodontic (root canal) treatment may be necessary to save the tooth.



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