Do you have consistent pain in your tooth when you are biting or chewing? The culprit may be cracked tooth syndrome. This occurs when there is a crack in the tooth. In many cases this crack is too small to show up on radiographs or is under the gingiva. Cracked tooth syndrome can be difficult to properly identify. Signs and symptoms of a cracked tooth are pain upon biting or discomfort to temperatures like hot and cold. The discomfort lasts while the tooth is in use.
Some common causes for cracked teeth include: grinding or clenching, malocclusion of the teeth (improper bite), and large restorations in the teeth. Some treatment options for a cracked tooth include: bonding the affected tooth with composite, a full coverage restoration of the tooth (an onlay or crown), root canal therapy, and in severe cases extraction of the tooth.
If you feel like you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, especially at night, talk to your dentist about a night guard. This guard will help protect your teeth. Also if you have malocclusion, talk to your dentist about orthodontics (braces). A good bite creates a healthy environment for the mouth.