How do I know if I have a cracked tooth? What do I do?

A cracked tooth starts to reveal itself when you bite down and feel a sharp pain in your mouth. Then the pain disappears as quickly as it came. So you avoid eating certain foods or especially from chewing on one side of your mouth.

A cracked tooth is caused by a number of reasons, including:

  • A severe hit to the mouth that impacted one of your teeth
  • Biting on a hard objects such as hard candy, ice, nuts or even a carrot
  • Grinding or clenching teeth (especially when sleeping)
  • Exposing tooth to sudden temperature swings—i.e. from a hot immediately to a cold drink
  • A severe hit to the mouth that impacted one of your teeth
  • Stress or brittleness of tooth from an earlier treatment such as a root canal

Spotting a crack in the tooth can be challenging as some hairline fractures are small enough to not be seen by the eye or even x-ray. By probing and asking the right questions your dentist can detect if and where you have a cracked tooth. Depending on the size or location of the crack the dentist can treat it with a special bonding. If it appears the cracked tooth has caused the inner pulp to become infected, a root canal may be necessary.