Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Sometimes it can also cause spread of diseases. The following symptoms are seen if you have a cracked tooth:-

  • Sharp pain on biting down. Pain is relieved on its own

  • Pain that is not continuous but comes and goes

  • Pain on chewing food

  • Discomfort and an odd feeling that something is stuck between your teeth

OR

  • No signs at all
     

It is hard to pin down which tooth may be cracked. Even x-rays cannot diagnose it sometimes. It is therefore, important to consult a dentist if you feel you have a cracked tooth.

What Causes a Tooth to Crack?

  • Biting on hard surfaces, like pencils, rocks, ice etc.

  • Grinding or clenching your teeth hard

  • Accidental blows to the teeth

  • Tooth wear

  • Large fillings

  • Exposure to extreme heat or cold

  • Uneven biting force on any one tooth

Why is there Pain?

Sometimes a crack can be so minute that it is almost invisible, but it can run deep into the tooth and reach the pulp. The pulp is found at the center of the tooth and contains blood vessels and nerves. When a crack propagates to the pulp, it stimulates the pulpal nerves and causes pain when you bite down on the affected tooth. Such teeth may require endodontic treatment if the pulp is excessively irritated.

Managing a Cracked Tooth

Sometimes a cracked tooth may not require any treatment at all because the cracks are too small to create any problems. But other times they may be large and involve vital structures. Treating a cracked tooth, therefore, depends upon the size, the location and direction of the crack.
The following can be some of the treatment options:-

  • Filling to repair the tooth

  • A crown to protect the surface of the tooth

  • Endodontic treatment

  • Extraction, if severely cracked

Regular dental check-ups can identify cracked teeth before they become problematic.

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