Ouch! Pain When Biting
Dental pain is a common complaint by many people. Pain on stimulus like hot or cold, spontaneous pain, night pain, and pain when biting are a few types of dental pain that indicate different dental conditions.
Pain when biting is a sign of “cracked tooth syndrome”. It is a recurring sensitivity, discomfort, or pain in a tooth when biting caused by an incomplete fracture or crack.
Symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome
You may realize that you have cracked tooth syndrome if you find yourself,
- You feel a sharp pain when chewing or
- Chewing only on one side of your mouth
- Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures or sweet or sour food
- The pain you feel is intermittent rather than constant
Teeth can crack for several reasons.
- When they withstand a tremendous amount of pressure from biting and chewing every day.
- Teeth may lose some of their original strength as they age
- The massive stresses of clenching and grinding as well as chewing on ice, unpopped popcorn, hard candy, and other hard objects, can also weaken teeth
- Teeth also lose strength when tooth structure is lost, as with large fillings or root canal therapy
- Teeth can crack due to injury or accidents like sudden falls or a hit
How to diagnose crack tooth syndrome
Since tooth fractures are almost always invisible to the naked eye, your dentist will do a thorough examination and necessary investigations to diagnose cracked tooth syndrome. The investigations typically include x-rays. However, even x-rays may not reveal the crack. So, your dentist may also analyze your bite to isolate the problem.
Treatment options available for cracked tooth syndrome
Once the dentist identified the fractured portion of your tooth the treatment option he’ll use will depend on the location and direction of the crack as well as how extensive the damage is.
Some cracks affect only the outer enamel layer of your tooth. Your dentist will remove the affected portion and restore it with a simple filling, crown, or onlay to stabilize the tooth and protect it from further damage. If the crack affects the deeper layers of the tooth like dentine or pulp the tooth will need root canal therapy before they place a crown. In rare cases, the crack extends through the tooth and under the bone and there’s no way to restore it. You have no choice but to remove the tooth and replace it in such cases.
How to prevent cracked tooth syndrome
Indeed you cannot prevent your teeth from cracking sometimes. However, if you are careful enough when biting on hard foods, you may prevent any damage to the teeth. Early identification of cracked tooth syndrome may help avoid the progression of damage to the inner layers of the teeth. Immediate consultation with your dentist once you identify the symptoms of a cracked tooth especially a pain when biting, will save you time and money because, fortunately, with early diagnosis and treatment, most cracked teeth can be saved and your healthy smile restored.