Drs. Golovan & Golovan
Norman Golovan D.D.S. 
Bruce Golovan D.M.D.
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

28790 Chagrin Blvd. #300
Woodmere Village, OH 44122
(216) 591-0022
Designing Healthy and Beautiful Smiles!

Call for an appointment today!
(216) 591-0022

Do You Have A Cracked Tooth?

How can you tell if a tooth is cracked?
It can be very difficult for you to tell if a tooth is cracked.  If you are having pain, you may not be able to tell exactly which tooth is hurting.  Sometimes you may not even be able to tell if the pain is coming from an upper or a lower tooth.  Cracks are sometimes invisible to the eye and may not even always show up on an x-ray.  Sometimes you won't have any pain or sensitivity at all.  Your dentist will discover it during your regular exam.  If you are having any symptoms, you can help your dentist by simply sharing information such as:
- The things that cause you the pain in the tooth (such as heat, cold or foods that are sweet, sour or sticky)
- The area of the pain
Why does a tooth crack?
A tooth may crack for many reasons, such as the following:
- Chewing on hard objects or foods such as pencils, ice, nuts or hard candy
- An accident, such as a blow to the mouth
- Grinding or clenching of the teeth
- Uneven chewing pressure, especially if a nearby tooth is lost
- Loss of tooth structure through wear
- Loss of tooth structure due to large fillings or other restorations
- Exposure of tooth enamel to extreme hot and cold temperatures
Why Does A Cracked Tooth Hurt?
Sometimes, a crack in the enamel will travel to the pulp of the nerve.  This type of cracked tooth may hurt when you use pressure to bite down or when you release your jaw from biting down.  The crack may be too small to see, but when it opens, the pulp inside of the tooth may become irritated.  The pulp is the soft tissue inside of the center of the tooth that contains the nerves and blood vessels.  If the crack extends into the pulp, the tooth may become sensitive to extreme heat and cold.  The pulp can also be affected as a result of the crack.  If this does happen, endodontic (root canal therapy) treatment may be needed to save the tooth.
How Is A Cracked Tooth Treated?
Treatment will depend on the size, location and direction of the crack, as well as your symptoms.  Your dentist will talk with you about the treatment that it is best for your tooth.  It is possible that your dentist will recommend no treatment at all, since tiny cracks are common and usually do not cause issues.
Types of treatment include the following:
- Repairing the tooth with a filling material
- Placing a crown on the tooth to protect it from further damage
- Endodontic (root canal) treatment if the pulp is involved
- Extracting the tooth if it is severely cracked and cannot be saved

Regular dental checkups are very important.  They allow your dentist to diagnose and treat problems in an early stage.  A cracked tooth can become a bigger problem if left untreated.  If you think you have a cracked tooth, please call our office to schedule an appointment.