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Do you have a cracked tooth? Before you automatically answer “no”, keep in mind that in many cases, you might not be aware of a crack in your tooth. The crack may be too small to see, and may not even show up on a dental x-ray. The crack may even occur below the gumline.

A cracked tooth can caused by bruxism, or grinding your teeth. Clenching your teeth can also lead to a cracked tooth. If a person’s teeth are not properly aligned, they might strike each other at odd angles, and a crack could result. A root canal or a large filling could also contribute to the problem. A tooth damaged in an accident or some other type of trauma could sustain a crack.

You might be suffering from a cracked tooth if you feel pain when biting down, but the that pain quickly goes away. If you are not in constant but occasional pain, or feel pain when eating something, you might have a cracked tooth. You might not have any pain in your tooth at all.

Because of these symptoms, and because a crack may be hard to see, a cracked tooth may be difficult to diagnose. Depending on the severity of the crack, your dentist may be able to repair it with a filling, or with a crown. If the damage is extensive enough, a root canal or extraction may be needed. If you feel pain, even if it is gone an instant later, you should make a note of when it occurred, what tooth was affected, and if you were eating or chewing anything when you felt it.

Although you may not be able to prevent a cracked tooth, keeping your teeth healthy by brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist for your regular cleanings and exams will help. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your mouth or teeth, or if you would like an exam and cleaning, our dentist, Dr. Kenneth Lewis will be happy to see you. If you live in the Fayetteville, North Carolina area and would like to make an appointment at Lewis Family Dentistry, give us a call at (910) 488.0518. We look forward to seeing you and helping you to have a healthier and brighter smile!