Russian Roulette With Your Teeth?

Nothing ruins a fun summer day at the ball park more than chomping down on a delicious salty pretzel and feeling the sharpest pain ever. You think it was just a freak occurrence, but then a few days later- crunching a slice of toast at Sunday brunch, it comes out of nowhere- AGAIN.

Such sudden, unexplained pain is such a confusing and frustrating problem to deal with. No one deserves to treat every meal they eat as though it’s a game of Russian Roulette – not knowing whether or not you’ll make it out alive!

You might have a cracked tooth. Cracks can occur due to accidents and trauma such as a blow to the mouth, grinding and/or clenching your teeth, uneven chewing pressure, and chewing hard foods and objects, to name a few. The main hallmark of a cracked tooth is that it will not affect your whole tooth. Instead, the pain will be isolated to a small area of the tooth. If you hit that tiny area just right, the crack moves when you release your bite. You might not always touch this area every time you eat, which is why the pain is so spotty and unpredictable.

It is easy to forget about this problem on a good day and chalk it up to just another nuisance that you can tolerate.  However, a cracked tooth must not be neglected. Imagine getting a crack in your car windshield; with every pothole and speed bump you drive over, that crack deepens and lengthens, and never stops growing. It’s the same concept with your tooth.

A great way you can determine whether or not you have cracked a tooth is to take a Q tip and bite down on the area where you feel the pain. It might be hard at first to isolate which tooth is the culprit.  Make sure you do the Q tip test with each tooth, and bite and hold for two seconds before releasing. What you want to look for is that sharp, piercing pain that you experienced when eating. Another method to find out which tooth is irritated is to run an ice cube along each tooth. The affected tooth will be way more sensitive than your other teeth.

Even if you consider yourself to be a tough person, you most definitely do not want to take any chances on betting that you can live with a cracked tooth. Your dentist should be more than able to help you identify the cause of your pain and treat your ailment. Read the next blog post to get an idea of how your doctor will treat your cracked tooth.