What if you suspect that you have a Cracked Tooth?
The best treatment for a suspected cracked tooth is to have it checked by your dentist as soon as possible. The following are some of the signs which can help to detect a cracked tooth:
• Sharp pain on biting, (especially on release or opening) that quickly disappears.
• Usually on a molar or premolar (back teeth)
• Spontaneous pain
• Pain while eating or drinking
• Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks
• Some cracks may be asymptomatic
• A cracked tooth may not be visible to the eye or on an x-ray.
Possible Causes of Cracked Teeth
There can be many causes of cracked teeth and some of them are as follows:
• You can cause a tooth to crack by chewing on foods such as ice, nuts, or hard lollies.
• A blow to the mouth may cause a tooth to crack.
• Clenching and grinding your teeth often causes teeth to crack.
• Brittle teeth that have had a root canal therapy may crack easily.
• Loss of tooth structure through wear, large fillings, or other restorations may cause a tooth to crack. This is especially true for older amalgam (silver) fillings, as they have a tendency to expand and shrink over time, resulting in flexure of the remaining tooth structure which cracks.
• Uneven chewing pressure from missing teeth or imperfections in the way teeth bite together. For example, high fillings or mal-aligned teeth
Treatment for a Cracked Tooth
Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the size and location of the crack and your symptoms. These include:
• Sometimes no treatment is recommended if the crack is small and not causing the patient any pain.
• Reducing the height of the tooth or filling slightly, or placing a metal band around the tooth if diagnosis is uncertain.
• Repairing the tooth with a filling material and reducing the height of the remaining tooth to protect it.
• Placing a crown, or onlay on the tooth to protect the tooth from further damage
• Root canal treatment if the nerves and pulp are involved
• Extraction of the tooth if the crack is severe and the tooth cannot be saved.
The best treatment is to have a suspected cracked tooth checked by your dentist as early as possible.