Having a cracked tooth may sound like a serious problem, but many patients don’t even realize they have an issue until they go in for an annual cleaning or get x-rays. Cracked teeth are a serious dental problem that should not be left untreated. Learn how to tell if you have cracked teeth, even if your mouth feels fine.

Painful signs of a cracked tooth

Pain or discomfort is generally the most obvious sign of a cracked tooth. Sometimes, cracked teeth present pain the same way a cavity or exposed root does. Common discomfort signs of a cracked tooth include:

  • Sharp or dull pain when chewing or drinking

Sometimes you only notice pain when putting pressure on your cracked teeth, when you chew gum or bite down on something hard. Even if you cannot see a cracked tooth, if you have any kind of dental pain and don’t think you have a cavity, you should see your dentist right away for diagnosis.

Cosmetic signs of a cracked tooth

Often, a cracked tooth goes unnoticed by patients because there doesn’t appear to be any pain. Sometimes you can actually see a cracked tooth, or notice an odd appearance in the shape or color of your tooth. Cosmetic signs of a cracked tooth include:

  • A dark line in your tooth
  • Discoloration in a single tooth
  • Obvious chipping or transparency in your tooth

If you notice any changes in your tooth yet don’t feel pain, make it a priority to see your dentist. They can perform an oral examination to see if a cracked tooth is an issue.

How your dentist will treat your cracked tooth

Your cracked tooth may be restored with a filling, veneer, or a crown. It may need root canal treatment also. If it is split, it may need extraction. In most cases, your tooth can be saved if you address a crack as soon as you notice any signs of one.

In many cases, your tooth can be preserved if you address a crack as soon as you notice any issues.

Preventing cracked teeth

Enamel is the hard outer layer of your tooth. Biting down on hard foods ( nuts or their shells, hard candies, pits in fruits) or ice, can cause a tooth to crack.

A cracked tooth is a serious dental issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible for optimum oral health. Watch for the signs of a cracked tooth so you can have your dentist make repairs as needed.