Do You Have a Cracked Tooth?

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In most instances, damage to a tooth is easy to detect. However, unlike a broken or lost tooth; or a cavity, a cracked tooth may not be as easy to detect. A cracked tooth is not always visible. In fact, a crack in your tooth may be so small that it does not show up in a routine dental exam, or even in a dental x-ray. While such a crack may not be visible, if it is not addressed, parts of your tooth could break off, or bacteria could enter through the crack, which can lead to an infection and an abscess. You may have cracked your tooth because of an accident, by biting down on a hard piece of food, by grinding or clenching your teeth, or it may be the result of tooth decay.

So how do you know if you have a cracked tooth if you cannot see it? The primary indicator of a cracked tooth is pain. The pain from a cracked tooth is frequently not persistent. In fact, while it may be sharp or dull, it usually comes and goes fairly quickly, and you will probably experience it when you are biting or chewing, or the tooth is exposed to heat or cold. You should make a note of when you experienced the pain, where it is located in your mouth, and what you were doing when the pain occurred. That will help your dentist to locate the crack in your tooth. Depending on the severity of the damage, your dentist may suggest bonding, a crown, or a root canal or and extraction.

If you have been experiencing intermittent pain in your tooth, whether it is mild, moderate or severe, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. If you live in the San Jose, California, area and would like to make an appointment to see Dr. Jamie Choi at Jamie P. Choi, DDS, call 408-973-8500.