Dr. Kenneth D. Clarke


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Cracked Tooth

If you experience an occasional sharp, intense pain in your mouth when you bite down that then disappears when you release your bite, it's quite possible that you have a cracked tooth.

Not only can a crack be invisible to the eye during your checkup, often times it can not even be seen on an x-ray. To compound the problem, identifying where the pain is originating isn't easy either, as the crack may actually be more of a hair line fracture, running vertically along the tooth. It's common to feel pain in a tooth at the top of your mouth when the problem is actually on the bottom, or vice-versa. Identifying the source of cracked tooth pain can be a pain in itself!

If you suspect that you may have a cracked tooth, make sure that you note when and where you feel the pain. Mention it to us when your in for your next checkup (or sooner if it's bothering you) in order to have the best chance of saving your tooth.

Unlike a broken bone, a cracked tooth never heals naturally. Once we identify the cracked tooth, we'll recommend a treatment - whether it is bonding, a root canal or another option - that will allow you to eat in comfort without the fear of the sharp jolt of pain that characterizes a cracked tooth.

Here's what you can do to make your teeth less susceptible to cracks:

  • Don't chew on hard objects such as ice, unpopped popcorn kernels or candy
  • Try not to clench of grind your teeth (or talk to us about a mouthguard if you do)
  • Always wear a mouthguard or mask when playing contact sports