Because we live longer and more stressful lives today, we are exposing our teeth to many more years of potentially damaging habits such as grinding, clenching, and chewing on hard objects such as ice or hard candy.
These habits make our teeth more susceptible to cracks. Your endodontist may treat a cracked tooth to prevent further damage to the tooth structure and tissue.
Cracked teeth do not always show any visible signs of damage, but may present a variety of symptoms, including erratic pain when you chew with them, and pain or sensitivity to heat and cold. In many cases, the pain may come and go, making it difficult for your doctor to locate the source.
WHY CRACKED TEETH HURT?
When the outer hard tissues of the tooth are cracked, chewing can cause minor movements of the pieces, and the pulp becomes irritated and inflammed. When biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in a momentary, sharp pain. Irritation of the dental pulp can be repeated many times by chewing.
Eventually, the pulp will become irreversibly damaged to the point where it can no longer heal itself. The tooth will not only hurt when chewing but may also become sensitive to extreme temperatures. In time, a cracked tooth may begin to hurt all by itself. Extensive cracks will lead to infection of the pulp tissue, causing dental infection even spreading to the gum and bone that surrounds the tooth.