Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you tend to clench your teeth a lot? If so, you may have tiny cracks in your teeth. The disease is called cracked tooth syndrome, and it is difficult to diagnose because the cracks either hiding beneath the gums, or are so small that do not appear on an x-ray.
The molars are characteristically the victims of cracked tooth syndrome because they are the teeth shouldering the heavy burden of breaking up food and absorbing the force of chewing.
The reason it is hard to diagnose cracked tooth syndrome is because the pain is not predictable and you may not show any symptoms for months. Your teeth will be sensitive when exposed to cold or hot temperatures, sweet food, and drink, or possibly when you bite down hard. The pain will not be consistent or “ache” like with a cavity. You may or may not develop an infection.
Depending on the severity of the crack and where it is located, treatment for cracked tooth syndrome could be fixed with a cap (aka crown). More serious cracks may need a root canal, and some patients with more difficult issues may need an implant or a bridge to replace the extracted tooth.
If you feel pain when you bite or chew, or suspect that you might have cracked tooth syndrome, Dr. Willis Jensen would be happy to see you for an evaluation. Call us with any questions at: 847-577-7440, or come in anytime at Willis J Jensen DDS in Arlington Heights, Illinois.