Your family dentist has seen it before. You take a little bite of something, and – POW! – the next thing you know you’re shrieking from a sharp pain.
Perhaps the pain doesn’t last very long. Yet it’s enough to have you chewing on only one side of your mouth the rest of the day, and maybe even shying away from certain foods altogether.
If this sounds familiar to you, it may be possible that you’re suffering from a cracked tooth.
Thing is, a crack in the tooth doesn’t necessarily have to be the size of the Grand Canyon before it becomes uncomfortable for you. No, you may not even be able to see the crack. It may just be a hairline crack that isn’t even visible to the eye.
Even the most microscopic-sized crack has the potential to cause a great deal of pain. This is because when you bite, you put pressure down on the crack and it causes it to open. The pain occurs when the crack closes back up, as pressure is released. And even with the tiniest of cracks, the pulp – which is the soft tissue that houses a tooth’s nerves and blood vessels – can become irritated. As a result, you may feel pain when the cracked tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
The best way to prevent a cracked tooth is to take common-sense measures that will preserve the health of your teeth. For instance:
- Avoid putting hard objects in your mouth. This includes hard foods such as hard candy and nuts. Also refrain from chewing ice.
- If you are prone to mouth injuries, do your best to keep yourself out of harm’s way. For instance, if you play sports be sure to always wear a good mouth guard.
- If you have a tendency to grind or clench your teeth, take measures to better manage this destructive habit (such as incorporating relaxation techniques or wearing a mouth guard at night).
Of course, in some instances you may not be able to avoid a cracked tooth, such as when a tooth structure is compromised by something such as a large filling.
Fortunately, treatments are available and vary depending on the nature of the specific crack. A cracked tooth may require bonding, or in more severe cases a root canal may be necessary. Still, tiny cracks may not require any treatment at all other than constant monitoring by your family dentist.
If you do have pain and suspect a cracked tooth, be sure to consult with your family dentist. The earlier a problem such as this can be diagnosed and treated, the better. And if you live in the Columbus or Reynoldsburg areas, we can serve all your dental care needs whether you’re having a specific problem or just need a routine check-up. Take advantage of our convenient online scheduling today.