This condition is referred to as “Cracked Tooth Syndrome”,which is characterized by a very sharp pain.Described by many as “an electric bolt”of pain to a tooth,it can often stop a person in the middle of a chew.
As quickly as it occurs, it disappears.It is gone once chewing is stopped with little,or no residual pain.
Also a very unique symptom, is that the pain is not every time one chews,but has to be “the right consistency of food ,typically small,and hard(nuts,granola,ice),but chewed the right way”. The best analogy we use in this office is a cracked windshield in your car: “it will continue to crack until it is split”.
Most times it is difficult for the individual to know which tooth is the culprit,but with an intraoral exam by the dentist,and a bite test,a proper diagnosis can be made,however,sometimes the crack is so fine and can even occur on intact,non-restored teeth!This can be one of the most difficult diagnoses for the dentist to make.
Once diagnosed,a crown is recommended to prevent further development of the crack.Depending on how deep the crack is,relative to the nerve,the tooth may abscess ,requiring a root canal.Unfortunately for some,the crack is too deep,and actually splits the tooth,requiring extraction(“pull”).
Unfortunately,in the experience of Dr Tessier,after 23 years of practice,the incidence of this problem is on the rise,with stress in life often taken out on one’s teeth with grinding at night,and clenching during the day,and bad habits(chewing ice,hard candy,un-popped popcorn kernels,whole olives,biting lip and tongue piercings,etc.).