Sometimes you may crack your tooth and not know it for some time. As the crack gets progressively worse, you may experience sensitivity or pain. That is why it is important to stay away from hard foods or candy, either of which can lead to this type of unwanted dental condition.
Signs that Your Tooth Is Cracked
A cracked tooth may hurt when you bite down or when your tooth is exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures. In most instances, the pain will come and go, which can cause some problems with locating the origin of the pain. To understand why a cracked tooth usually hurts, you have to review the anatomy of a tooth. A layer of dentin lies behind the hard enamel of the tooth. Inside the dentin is a soft tissue known as pulp. This tissue contains both blood vessels and nerves. If the enamel cracks, the pulp may become irritated and start to hurt. If the crack is extensive, the pulp can become infected, which can lead to an infection of the gum and bone.
Can Anything Be Done about a Cracked Tooth?
Cracked teeth can take different forms. Therefore, the nature of the treatment depends on the type of crack. For example, vertical cracks that go down to the root may lead to an extraction, as they can trigger an infection and swelling. On the other hand, craze lines are just surface cracks in adult teeth and do not cause pain or sensitivity. Therefore, these cracks normally do not need to be treated. A fractured cusp occurs when the chewing surface of a tooth breaks next to a filling. To repair this crack, we will either refill the tooth or place a crown on the tooth to protect it. Any crack that extends beyond the gum line cannot be treated. Therefore, the tooth has to be extracted.
Again, how a crack is treated depends on the type of crack. If you feel any type of sensitivity or suspect you have cracked your tooth, give us a call immediately. Time is of the essence, especially if you recently fractured your tooth. Regardless of your dental condition or concerns, we can provide you with the relief or treatment you need.