“Jimmy Fallon Chipped His Tooth Trying to Open Medicine for His Injured Finger”

Cracking a tooth is easier than you think. Not even Jimmy Fallon is above a cracked tooth!
The most common cause of cracking a tooth is chewing on hard foods (popcorn, ice, or hard candy) or other solid (non-food) objects (such as food packaging or medicine packaging). You can also crack a tooth from a blow to the mouth or chin – or similar “accidents” – as well as through tooth-grinding and clenching.

Your own mouth can even work against you! If your bite is unbalanced and you have uneven chewing pressure, you may also accidentally crack a tooth; large fillings or other restorations that wear down over time can likewise result in a crack. You can crack a tooth by exposing tooth enamel to both extreme hot and cold (like enjoying hot pizza and ice-cream together). Finally, following a root canal teeth are especially sensitive, and therefore your dentist recommends crowns after these treatments.

Is it painful?

Yes, the main symptom of a cracked tooth is pain. If you cracked a tooth you may feel sharp pain when biting down. You may have pain when eating or drinking, or pain that comes and goes. Cracked teeth are painful because the pressure of biting which causes the crack in the tooth to open and irritate the pulp inside the tooth (the pulp is soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels). While at times you may not experience any pain, without treatment the pulp can become damaged or diseased causing very severe pain and root canal treatment may be required.

Cracks can possess a diagnostic challenge. Sometimes they are invisible to the eye and don’t always show up on dental X-rays. Your dentist will ask you a few simple questions to help in diagnosing and may examine or remove old fillings or restorations to see all surfaces of the tooth.
In our office, Dr. Fisher uses special magnifying glasses (dental loupes) to help detect cracks and other small changes in the teeth.

How does the dentist treat a cracked tooth?

Your dentist will discuss with you the treatment options, which depend on the size and location of the crack. If you have a very tiny crack, sometimes no treatment is required. Otherwise, treatment may include a filling to repair the tooth, placing a crown, or doing a root canal treatment if the pulp is involved. Sometimes, especially if the tooth is cracked beneath the gum, the tooth cannot be saved and has to be extracted.

What message should you take home?

If you are experiencing localized pain, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call your dentist. You may have cracked you tooth.

Regular dental checkups allow early diagnosis and treatment in the early stages. Dental problems such as a cracked tooth can become a bigger problem if left untreated.


#102-3737 Oak Street, Vancouver BC





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