There are times when you feel pain if you chew in a certain way, or when you eat something that never caused even a twinge of pain before. This can be puzzling as this pain does not occur often. It seems to strike when you least expect it and cause you to cringe and lay your hands over the side of your face where the pain originates.
You might be suffering from ‘Cracked Tooth Syndrome,’ a condition in which a partial crack may extend into the dentin, or the second layer of your tooth. Some cracks, however, reach down to the pulp itself, which makes it harder to treat.
How do dentists find out if you really have CTS?
Dr. Breazeal at The Max Dental Center will conduct a thorough oral examination to see whether there are visible cracks on your teeth. We use an instrument called an ‘explorer’ to feel for cracks in the tooth. Digital X-rays are also used to check your teeth. There are some teeth cracks, though, which are too small for digital X-rays to detect. We may also conduct bite tests and ask you if you feel pain if you bite in a certain manner.
Why do cracks appear in our teeth?
You might notice that you clench your jaw hard every time you get mad or annoyed. This is a bad habit as this forces your teeth, especially your back molars, to grind together. Continuous pressure applied on these areas causes your teeth to crack. Eating hard foods and chewing on bones is another reason why cracks occur, especially if the enamel has been worn down. Hormonal changes can also cause tooth enamel weakening, sensitive teeth, gum bleeding, and other dental conditions.
How are tooth cracks treated?
Cracks are treated according to how deep and large they are. Dr. Breazeal can repair the cracks on the cusp of your teeth with crowns, while we perform root canal therapy for cracks that go way down to the pulp. The cracks are filled to make sure that nerves and blood vessels remain unaffected. Some cracks, however, can render the tooth unsalvageable if they reach the root. We will have to extract and replace it with a bridge or an implant. We may also prescribe night-guards if your jaw hurts when you wake up in the morning. This could happen when you unconsciously clench your jaw while you sleep.
Want more information about Cracked Tooth Syndrome? Contact us today with inquiries or to schedule an appointment for a cracked tooth test.