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When you bite down you feel a sharp pain. It quickly disappears and perhaps you ignore it. You avoid certain food or chew on one side of your mouth. Does this sound familiar? You may have a cracked tooth.

A cracked tooth can result from many causes:

  • grinding or clenching teeth
  • uneven chewing pressure or stress on a tooth
  • large filling can cause too to be brittle
  • excessive wear of tooth structure
  • exposing tooth to extreme temperature changes such as chewing ice, or eating hot food and drinking a cold drink afterwards
  • accident, blow to mouth

An untreated crack may eventually cause tooth fracture and possibly nerve damage that would result in the need for root canal treatment.

Treatment depends on the severity of the crack. It may be able to be restored with a filling, onlay or crown. A severely cracked tooth may need extraction.

Tiny cracks are common and usually do not cause problems. Regular dental checkups allow problems to be diagnosed and treated in the early stages. If you have pain, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call for an appointment to have the tooth checked.