You may not see them, but cracked teeth can cause very real pain and lead to more damage. Fortunately with treatment, most cracked teeth will continue to function for years.
Does this sound familiar? When you bite down, you feel a sharp pain. It may disappear quickly, and perhaps you even learn to ignore it, or avoid chewing certain foods on that particular side of your mouth. But the feeling persists, and can include any of the following:
Additionally, when seeking treatment for such pain, you may find:
While cracked teeth are not completely preventable, you can take certain precautions to ensure your teeth will be less susceptible to cracks:
If you experience symptoms of a cracked tooth, see your dentist immediately. If detected early, a cracked tooth can often be saved.
Why does my cracked tooth hurt?
A crack in a tooth usually affects the soft inner tissue of the tooth called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels and nerves. When it is damaged, it causes pain. That is why a cracked tooth hurts; the pulp is damaged. To relieve the pain and save your tooth, the pulp needs to be gently treated.
How will my cracked tooth be treated?
The treatment of your cracked tooth depends on both the type and severity of the crack. There are four common types of cracks:
After treatment for a cracked tooth, will my tooth completely heal?
Unlike bone, a fracture in a cracked tooth will never completely heal. Even after treatment, it’s possible that a crack may continue to worsen and separate, resulting in the total loss of the tooth.
Despite the possibility for the tooth to worsen, the treatment you receive is important. It will relieve your pain and reduce the chances that the crack will worsen. Most cracked teeth continue to function for years after treatment. Your dentist will be able to tell you more about your particular diagnosis and treatment recommendations.