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Why does a cracked tooth hurt so much? 

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Are you feeling sudden pain when you chew or bite down? Or erratic pain when your teeth are exposed to hot and cold temperatures? If so, you may have a cracked tooth!  

If left untreated, cracked teeth have the potential to cause excruciating pain and severe damage, making this a serious dental emergency that should be addressed immediately. 

Cracked tooth syndrome is a term used to describe a crack or fracture in the tooth. This can occur due to various factors, including but not limited to:  

  • Teeth grinding or clenching 
  • Biting down on something hard 
  • Uneven bite patterns 
  • Large Amalgam fillings  
  • Physical trauma to the face, eg sports injury, falls, a blow to the face 
  • Habits such as chewing gum and fingernails  

The most common symptoms of a crack tooth include: 

  • Sensitivity to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold 
  • Sensitivity when eating something sweet 
  • Pain that comes and goes when chewing 
  • An unprovoked toothache 
  • Swelling around the tooth 

Why does it hurt so much?  

The tooth’s structure is composed of a hard outer layer of enamel, an inner hard layer of dentin and an inner soft layer called the pulp. The pulp houses the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. When the hard layers are cracked, chewing can cause movements of these pieces causing great irritation to the pulp. Overtime this may lead to the pulp becoming permanently damaged and to a point it can no longer heal. This can consequently cause infection of the pulp, which can spread to the surrounding bone and gum. A crack can also provide direct entry for bacteria to enter the tooth, leading to pulpal infection and eventual death.  

If you’re experiencing pain when eating or have any of the above symptoms, visit one of our friendly dentists for consultant. They will assist in diagnosing your dental concern and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.   

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