Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

3 Warnings Signs of a Cracked Tooth That You Shouldn't Ignore

It's sometimes obvious that a tooth has been cracked. You might feel it happen after experiencing a knock or while chewing something hard, and you may be able to see the crack by looking in the mirror. However, not all cracks are felt when they are made, and they might be either too small or too close to the back of the mouth to spot in a mirror.

Cracked teeth can often be lived with quite easily, at least for a little while, but they are associated with a number of more serious issues. If you think your tooth might be cracked, you need to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible. Here are just three symptoms to watch out for.

1. Sharp Pain

If you have a crack in one of your teeth, you're unlikely to feel pain all the time. Instead you will probably feel sharp pain when you bite down on the affected tooth. This pain should then quickly go away. This is because biting down will cause the crack to open and close slightly, irritating the soft tissue of the mouth. This pain differs from the discomfort associated with an abscess or cavity, both of which will usually present sufferers with a dull, aching pain that starts off easy to ignore and gradually becomes less bearable.

2. Sensitivity

Aside from bursts of pain while using a cracked tooth, you might find that the tooth in question becomes sensitive to hot and cold. Even a crack that is too small to see can irritate the soft and sensitive pulp inside. In fact, some cracks can cause damage to the pulp itself, making sensitivity more likely. If you find that only one tooth is sensitive to hot or cold liquids and foods, a crack might just be the cause of your discomfort.

3. Recent Oral Surgery

It might sound odd to think that recent fillings or root canals can actually put your teeth more at risk of cracks, but this is sometimes the case. Your tooth will be much weaker with a cavity that goes unfilled, but larger fillings still increase the risk of a tooth cracking when it is placed under excess pressure. Root canals will affect the underlying structure, so they can also lead to cracks; this is particularly likely when dealing with the back teeth. Finally, a tricky extraction can place neighbouring teeth at risk. Wisdom teeth, for example, are often hard to pull if the tooth structure is slightly curved, and the teeth next to them can be more vulnerable to damage after an extraction takes place.