Cracked Tooth Syndrome

We’ve all experienced an ache in a tooth before when we’ve bitten on something hard. But did you know that you may be experiencing cracked tooth syndrome. This occurs when a crack forms on your tooth, usually back teeth, and biting pressure forces the crack to open therefore irritating your nerves. The ache or discomfort you feel is usually sudden and not long lasting but it is a result of your nerve telling you that something is wrong.

If a crack is not treated in time, it can progress and the tooth will fracture leading to a filling or worse, it can irritate the nerves so much that eventually you’ll need a nerve (root canal) treatment.  This exact thing happened to a lady who came in to see me last month. She was experiencing an ache in a back tooth when eating but never acted on it until the ache suddenly intensified and now she needed a root canal treatment and a crown to protect the tooth.

The trick is to treat the crack while it’s small and before it reaches the nerve. Your dentist can help diagnose if the ache you are experiencing is caused by cracked tooth syndrome.  During the comprehensive examination, your dentist may use a probe to feel for any cracks or any periodontal (surrounding gum and bone) defect, they may take a few radiographs, or do other special tests. There could be other reasons causing the ache and your dentist will help identify and treat the problems.

You can reduce the risk of cracking your tooth by avoiding chewing hard food such as bones, ice, and if you grind your teeth during sleep, your dentist can make you a protective mouthguard known as a splint to wear at night.

Next time you feel an ache in your tooth, don’t put it off. Come and see our friendly team at Complete Family Dental.

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