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Sensitive and Sore Teeth

Why Do Teeth Become Sensitive or Sore?

Sensitive or sore teeth can be very distressing and a constant nuisance. There are numerous causes of sensitive and sore teeth, including tooth decay, fractured teeth, cracks, abscesses, missing fillings, receding gums and lack of regular periodontal care (cleaning).

Depending on the case, dentists will use treatments such as fillings, root canal treatment, crowns and tooth extraction to fix this problem.

We always recommend that you visit your Lumino dentist to diagnose any dental problems so they can advise any future treatment and you can have a healthy smile.


Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Why do teeth crack?

Teeth are exposed to regular pounding and flexing forces and can crack over years of use. The habit of biting or grinding the teeth, particularly at night, can also lead to cracked teeth. Teeth that have been weakened by fillings will bend and flex more, increasing the chance of damage. The bigger the filling, the greater the chance of a crack developing. Also, simple cracks that are left untreated are likely to become more complex cracks.

Signs and symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome

  • Patient discomfort is often the first sign of a crack in a tooth. Other signs of cracked tooth syndrome are: 
  • Sharp pain upon chewing (especially when biting on hard grainy food, or after release of biting pressure)
  • Pain or discomfort when the crack is exposed to cold or hot liquids or food
  • Sensitivity to sweet foods
  • Difficulty in determining which tooth is causing the pain
If left untreated the damage will progress.

Cracked tooth syndrome is the most common condition diagnosed in patients over 40 with fillings in their teeth. Cracks can be difficult to diagnose. A crack is often invisible in its early stages and is unlikely to be seen on X-rays. If you show signs of cracked tooth syndrome, your clinician will check for signs of tooth wear, large fillings with weakened cusps, and cracks on the surface of your teeth. Your clinician may carry out a bite test, temperature test, gum probe or removal of a filling.

Complex cracks
Dentists consider a crack in a tooth to be a bacterial highway allowing bugs to enter the tooth and cause decay deep within the tooth. If the crack penetrates through the nerve or pulp of the tooth, it is called a complex crack. The chance of bacterial infection and consequent nerve death is much higher.

Treatment For a Cracked Tooth

The treatment depends on the position of the crack and how far it has grown. It is best to treat cracks early to prevent crack propagation and bacterial infection. In some cases, treatment involves removing the weakened cusp and placing a large filling or crown. In complex cases, there may be the need for root canal treatment or extraction.


Preventing Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Any moderately filled tooth is at risk of fracture. Your dentist will be able to identify teeth at risk of fracture and suggest protective overlay restorations that stop tooth flexing and bending. Materials such as porcelain or gold are strong protective materials that help to reduce crack development and propagation. It is good to plan teeth that will need this treatment and develop a preventative treatment programme with your dentist. Don’t wait for the crack to develop.
If you need more information or would like to ask us further questions, please do fill in the form on our Contact Us page or call us today!

You'll find more great hints and tips on our Lumino Blog here.