There are many ways to crack a tooth. Sustaining a blow to the mouth during sports or in an accident is one way. Grinding or clenching your teeth is another. But it may be surprising to learn that you can also crack your tooth by doing simple tasks like chewing on ice, nuts or hard candy, as well as exposing your teeth to extreme hot and cold. But how do you know if you’ve cracked a tooth? Unfortunately, it’s possible to have a cracked tooth and not experience any pain at all. But other times, you may have one or all of these symptoms:
- It hurts to bite down
- The pain is intermittent, not persistent
- It’s painful to eat and drink, especially hot and cold foods, or foods that are sweet or sour
Why Cracked Teeth are Painful
Sometimes your teeth can have tiny cracks that don’t cause any pain at all. But when the crack in your tooth is larger it can expose the soft tissue (or pulp) underneath your tooth that holds its nerves and blood vessels. When this happens, eating or drinking hot and cold foods or beverages irritates the tissue and causes pain. And if the crack goes undetected or untreated, this tissue can become damages or diseased, putting your tooth at further risk.
What to Do If You Have a Cracked Tooth
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, make an appointment to visit your dentist as soon as possible. He or she may recommend fixing the tooth with a filling or by putting a crown over it to protect against additional damage. If the crack is more serious, a root canal may be needed and, in some cases, tooth extraction will be necessary if the crack is severe.
For more information about diagnosing and treating a cracked tooth, schedule an appointment by completing our convenient online contact form. For locations, click here to find a center near you.