Posted on 4/30/2019 by Roberta Cerveny, DDS
|If you chip or crack one of your front teeth, you can see the damage in the mirror. You'll also, of course, likely feel it happen. But if you crack a molar, it's more difficult to see. These teeth are located in the back of your mouth and are harder to visually examine.
You can use a mirror and a flashlight or have someone else look at your teeth, but it's possible you won't notice a crack, especially if it's a small one. Some are even microscopic or under the gum line where they can't be seen at all.
Painful Teeth CracksHowever, over the next few days or weeks, you may certainly start to feel the crack. Cracked molars can be very painful because the crack may expose the root of the tooth to air, food particles, and bacteria. In many cases, though, this pain isn't constant. It's not going to have the same regular pain as a cavity or other type of tooth issues.
You might not even feel pain every time you chew food with that molar. Certain foods might set it off, as can biting down in certain ways. It's often difficult to determine what's causing the pain at first.
How Can a Cracked Molar Be Treated?The first thing to do when you suspect you have a cracked molar is to call us and book an appointment. The sooner we see you, the sooner we can determine if it's truly a cracked tooth or if there's something else going on. Once we know for certain, we can treat the crack.
What we can do depends on where the crack is, how deep is it, and how long it is. For superficial cracks, the repair is fairly easy. For cracks on the top of the tooth, the solution may be a crown.
Unfortunately, if the crack is deep enough that it affects the tooth's pulp, you're going to need a root canal. About one out of every five cracked molars need one. This will remove a lot of the pain you feel when eating, especially when eating hot or cold foods. In some very rare cases, we may even have to extract the tooth.
If you're feeling any pain at all in a tooth, call us. Even if it's minor, it's still worth checking out.