Cracked teeth can sometimes be hard to detect because the pain may come and go, and it may be hard to determine which tooth is causing the pain. Let’s take a look at some of the causes and symptoms of a cracked tooth and what can be done about it.
Teeth often become cracked from grinding and clenching. Many people grind and clench their teeth at night without even realizing it. Another very common way to crack a tooth is by biting into something very hard, such as hard candy or ice. So some of the best ways to protect your teeth and prevent them from cracking include wearing a night guard and never chewing ice or biting into hard candy. Teeth can also become cracked when people use them as tools, such as opening bottles. Teeth with fillings can often be subject to cracking due to the tooth already being weakened from the filling, and occasionally, certain fillings can be of a shape and substance that may start to act like a wedge being driven into the tooth as they wear out or if the tooth weakens.
Pay attention to the signs of a cracked tooth so that you can catch it early and get it treated before more significant damage develops. If you feel a sudden sharp pain when when biting down, especially on a hard food, or if you have sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks, then you may have a cracked tooth. Once the enamel of a tooth is cracked, it can pinch and irritate the sensitive pulp underneath. Over time, infection can set in through the crack since the protective coating of enamel is compromised.
Depending on the severity of the crack and the condition of the underlying pulp and the tooth overall, a cracked tooth can be repaired with a filling or, more often, a crown. Some teeth may require a root canal prior to crown placement, and some may be so badly cracked that extraction is necessary.
Cracked teeth happen. Most of us live busy, stressful lives that make clenching and grinding more common, and many people are not even aware of it. Take great care of your teeth by wearing a bite guard at night if you exhibit any signs of grinding, and take care not to try to chew ice, bite into hard candies, or use your teeth to open things. At Mall of Georgia Dentistry , we want your teeth to last your lifetime, so it’s good for you to know the things that matter to your teeth along with great home hygiene. But if a tooth does crack or exhibit any symptoms of pain or sensitivity, don’t wait- call our office right away.