Because we live longer and more stressful lives today, we expose our teeth to many more years of potentially damaging habits such as clenching, grinding, and chewing on hard objects. These habits make our teeth more susceptible to cracks.
Why Cracked Teeth Hurt
When the outer hard tissues of the tooth are cracked, chewing can cause movement of the pieces, and the nerve becomes irritated. When biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, which results in a momentary, sharp pain. Irritation of the dental pulp can be repeated many times by chewing.
There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location, and extent of the crack.
Preventing Cracked Teeth
Although cracked teeth are not utterly preventable, you can take steps to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks.
- Don’t chew on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels, or pens.
- Don’t clench or grind your teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard when you play contact sports or while lifting weights or during workouts.
Early diagnosis is important. Even with high magnification and special lighting, it can be challenging to determine the extent of a crack. A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, and eventually result in the loss of the tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to saving these teeth.
We can make you a custom-fitted occlusal guard. Some dental insurance plans provide coverage for this appliance.