There are a number of things that can lead to cracked tooth. If you sustain an impact to the face or the mouth in an accident, while playing sports or recreating, you may crack a tooth. If you deal with bruxism, which is a condition on which you grind or clench your teeth, a cracked tooth may be the result. If your teeth are misaligned, they could come together incorrectly, and after repeated contact, a crack could form. A root canal treatment could leave your teeth vulnerable to cracking as could a large filling. Eating hard foods could lead to a cracked tooth. If you chew on pens or pencils, bite your nails, or are in the habit of opening bags by holding one corner between your teeth and giving the other corner a good pull, don’t be surprised if you crack a tooth.
Unlike other kinds of dental damage like toothaches, broken or lost teeth or a cut on your lips, gums or tongue, you may not notice the problem right away. In many cases of an injured smile, there may be blood, pieces of tooth or the tooth itself, and pain, sensitivity or swelling. However, in the case of a cracked tooth, there may not be any initial indicators of any damage. In many cases, you may be able to see the crack, but some cracks are so small as to be invisible to the naked eye. In fact, some cracks are so small that the dentist might miss them during an examination, while others are so fine that they do not show up on a dental X-ray. But no matter how small a crack may be, any crack is large enough to allow bacteria to penetrate the interior of your tooth. Once bacteria is present, infection can set in, which could mean a filling, crown, root canal or retreatment, or if the infection becomes severe enough, an extraction. Obviously a cracked tooth needs to be treated as soon as possible. But that does present a problem. How can you treat something that you can’t see and may not even know is there? Well, our dentist, Dr. Ed Liebenthal can find the crack, if you tell him where to look, and that is based on pain or sensitivity.
A cracked tooth will feel pain and can be sensitive, but you need to keep in mind that this will not be a constant pain. Your tooth may feel fine until you bite or chew, or eat or drink something cold, hot or sweet. Then you may feel pain or a sensation. It may sharp or dull, but it will be very brief. When that happens, you should note where in your mouth the pain occurred and what you were doing when you felt it. That will give the dentist something to go on when he examines your mouth. Keep in mind that you may not feel any pain with a cracked tooth, and if you have had a recent blow to the face or to your mouth, it is a good idea to let us know at Hartford Family Dental Care. We’ll advise you on your best course of action and let you know if you should come and see us.
If you think you may have a cracked tooth in Hartford, Michigan, we will be happy to help. Call 269-621-6441 today and we’ll arrange for your appointment.