If you have a tooth that has had decay and infection, you’ve likely undergone root canal treatment. This procedure works to clean out the bad stuff and then seals up a fresh, healthy tooth. So often, this process leaves quite a hole in the middle of the tooth, making a regular filling unfeasible. With its integrity in jeopardy, a dental crown is used to bring strength and restore functionality - but it doesn’t make the tooth invincible.
Sometimes your tooth may still crack under the dental crown. It is important to know the signs and what you should do if it happens.
Signs of a Cracked Tooth
You can’t always see a cracked tooth - especially when it is covered by a crown. The best thing you can do is to pay attention to any changes you feel and make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you notice them.
Below are the most common signs that you may have a cracked tooth:
- Pain in the tooth when you bite down or chew.
- Pain that is often intermittent and not constant. However, when referring to a fracture rather than a crack, you may experience chronic pain.
- Sensitivity to temperatures, such as drinking or eating something cold or hot. Also, sugary foods, too.
- Infection around the gum line. This area may become sensitive and you may have a small bump appear.
Sometimes there may be no signs at all of a cracked tooth.
What Causes a Cracked Tooth Under a Dental Crown?
There are many reasons that you may be feeling signs of trouble due to a cracked tooth under your crown. It is easy to assume that a tooth is now strong because it looks and acts like it is - thanks to the crown’s protection. And, while it is much stronger than it would be without it, you still have a weak tooth underneath. If you don’t take the right care, you could risk cracking it.
You can encounter trouble if you:
- Regularly grind or clench your teeth at night (known as bruxism)
- Bite down on something hard or crunchy (popcorn kernels and ice are two common culprits)
- Fall or otherwise suffer trauma to the mouth
Even normal wear and tear over time can cause things to weaken more.
How to Handle Your Cracked Tooth
The only proper way to handle your cracked tooth involves a visit to the dentist.
You cannot visibly see your tooth that is under a crown which is why if you experience any of the above signs - or any changes at all - you need to have the tooth thoroughly examined. After all, your cracked tooth may also cause damage to or dislodge your crown. By assessing the tooth and the surrounding area - through digital x-rays - it may be possible to see the crack.
Treatment can vary and may include the use of bonding and/or replacing the crown. As a last resort, if the dentist feels that the structure of the tooth is beyond salvaging, extraction may be warranted.
Cracked Teeth and Crowns at Lane Family Dentistry
Lane Family Dentistry offers a full, comprehensive list of dental services - including those that treat a cracked tooth under a dental crown. If you are experiencing any of the signs above or if something just doesn’t feel right, contact us today at 501-796-3903 . Or, request an appointment online.