Do you experience pain when chewing? Have you chipped a filling or even a tooth?
Cracked teeth may be as minor as a painless chipped filling or tooth surface. Severe cases will lead to an intense pain that makes it impossible to chew on. To compensate, patients often resort to chewing only on the other side to avoid further pain.
Cracks start as minute stress lines within the surface of the tooth and are completely painless. This may remain for some time before suddenly splitting without any warning.
Clenching or grinding
An increasing proportion of patients we see show signs of damage to the teeth, jaw joint and facial muscles due to undiagnosed clenching and grinding. This places immense, abnormal and prolonged pressure on teeth which increases the incidence of cracks.
Large, older-style metal amalgam fillings can place stresses in the remaining tooth that show as cracks over time. This is especially the case for extremely large fillings, where the thin and weak remaining tooth area cracks.
If teeth are lost and the space is left as it is, damage can occur to the remaining teeth. This is because they are subject to an increased chewing load. Teeth that normally withstand decades of daily use are now prone to cracking, despite a history of normal pain-free function.
Where cracked teeth or fillings are small, tooth-coloured fillings may be all that’s required to get you on your way. If the remaining tooth is too broken, a stronger and longer lasting porcelain crown may be the advisable option.