You’re relaxing at home with a bowl of popcorn, munching away. All is well until you bite down hard on a sneaky kernel and feel a sharp pain. It’s best to not ignore it as you may have a cracked tooth. Our Hudsonville dentists will need to take a closer look to assess the damage and make the necessary repairs. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms and treatment of cracked teeth. Signs of a Cracked Tooth For many, the biggest indication that your tooth has cracked is sudden pain when biting or chewing. This can happen especially when you ease up on the bite or expose the tooth to cold, heat, or extreme sweetness. Discomfort from a cracked tooth can also appear at random and cease soon after it starts. When this happens, our team of dentists may need to investigate deeper with X-rays as it can otherwise prove difficult to locate the damaged tooth. Upon examination, it’s possible we may also find gum swelling around the affected area. If you’re experiencing any intense tooth pain, we urge you to call our Hudsonville dental office. Ignoring a dental emergency can result in worse complications down the road. How Your Tooth Cracked Matters Cracks in teeth can materialize in a few different ways and how your tooth has cracked will influence the type of treatment chosen. Already mentioned above, patients often find that they have cracked teeth after snacking on hard foods like nuts, candy, or popcorn with kernels. Other causes of a cracked tooth include: \tGrinding or clenching your teeth \tLarge fillings that weaken the natural tooth structure \tDental injury, i.e., getting hit in the mouth while playing sports \tGeneral wear and tear as you age \tSudden temperature changes in the mouth As soon as you visit our dentists, we can examine your tooth and see how it has cracked. If you have “craze lines” or small cracks in your tooth’s enamel, it’s likely you will not require any treatment and these should cause no pain. Larger cracks, however, will need to be remedied before further damage occurs. Cracked teeth may also appear as: \tFractured cusp: Typically happens around a filling and doesn’t negatively affect the tooth pulp or cause much pain. \tVertical root fracture: Starts underneath the gum line and reaches upward. Symptoms are usually minimal unless infection sets in. There are high chances tooth extraction will be needed for this type of crack. \tSplit tooth: A crack that can separate a tooth into two parts and goes from the surface to below the gum line. This type of crack is extensive and may result in extraction though our dentists may be able to save a portion of the natural tooth. \tCrack extension into gum line: You will need immediate treatment for the best chances of saving your tooth. If you have a crack that hasn’t gone under the gum line yet, we can generally rescue the tooth with no issue. Treatment Options Depending on the severity of your cracked tooth, treatment may vary. Our dentists could go the way of cosmetic bonding and place tooth-colored composite resin into the crack to restore its look and function. We could also determine that a protective dental crown is the best solution. When the crack itself has reached the inner portion of your tooth, the pulp, it’s possible a root canal procedure may be in order. We’ll remove the damaged pulp and take measures to prevent future infection or structural issues. Get the Help You Need Nobody really plans for a cracked tooth so when you need help fast, our dentists in Hudsonville, MI, are here. All you need to do is call Hudsonville Dental at (616) 209-4024 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll see you soon!