Cracked teeth are dangerous oral health care concerns because of the damage that can progress inside the mouth. Inside every tooth are different layers which make up the tooth. The outer layer that is visible when you smile is called the enamel. This enamel protects the inner layers of
the tooth that supply its life. Under the enamel is the hard dentin layer, and beneath the dentin is the pulp of the tooth. The pulp contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels that connect it directly to its blood supply and lifeline.
A cracked tooth occurs when the enamel of the tooth is cracked. If the enamel is cracked, it allows movement within the inner layers of the tooth and the pulp to become irritated. This irritation is quite painful because the roots of the tooth are directly affected. Irritation to the pulp will cause the pulp to become damaged to the point where it cannot heal itself.
Many people are aware that a cracked tooth has occurred as soon as it happens because they have bitten down on something hard and feel immediate pain. This situation is considered to be a dental emergency and should be handled by your dentist as quickly as possible. Other times, a cracked tooth is not so obvious, and patients may not even be aware of the situation until it is brought up by the dentist. Signs that you may have a cracked tooth include:
- Sharp pain when chewing – biting down causes pain, but the pain is relieved when you separate your teeth
- Pain or extreme tooth sensitivity that occurs when eating or drinking
- Pain that comes and goes throughout the day
- A visible line through the tooth
- Discoloration of a single tooth
A cracked tooth needs to be addressed as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to the tooth and to the surrounding areas of the mouth. A severe crack can cause excruciating pain because the damage has reached the pulp. If a severely cracked tooth is not treated within an appropriate amount of time, damage and disease can occur that will require a root canal procedure.
If you are concerned that you may have a cracked tooth, please contact Definition Dental right away. We are here for all of your oral health care needs.