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  • What is that mysterious tooth pain?

What is that mysterious tooth pain?

By Dr. Declan Devereux

Do you favor chewing on one side of your mouth more than the other? Do cold drinks or sweet foods cause sensitivity to your teeth? Do any of your teeth feel "weak" to bite on?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from one of the most commonly missed diagnoses in dentistry -- the cracked tooth.

Biting on bones, clenching of teeth, and grinding of teeth are some of the many causes of a cracked tooth but the most common cause is a large metal filling. Metal fillings are harder than the tooth itself, and as they age, they expand slightly. The expanded metal filling then creates a wedging effect in the tooth which eventually leads to the crack. If the cracked tooth is not treated, a piece of the tooth will eventually break off or even split the tooth in half, right into the nerve. To properly detect a cracked tooth and avoid costly and unnecessary treatment, we have to be the Sherlock Holmes of the mouth. Cracked teeth usually cause irregular symptoms.

Sometimes they are sensitive to cold and other times they hurt if you bite on a certain spot. Often our patients know something is wrong but can't identify exactly where the pain is coming from. We frequently see patients who have been suffering with a cracked tooth for months without knowing the cause. X-Rays are of little value in detecting cracked teeth because cracks only show up on x-rays once the cracked segments pull apart and by then, it is too late to save the tooth. If we see the patient before the crack goes too far into the tooth there is hope. We use an instrument specifically designed to detect cracked teeth. It's called the "tooth sleuth" (sounds like Sherlock Holmes for teeth) and allows us to zero in on the exact spot where the crack is occurring. Once we know precisely where the crack is, we can properly restore the tooth and prevent the crack from spreading while relieving all of the painful symptoms. If you suspect you may have a cracked tooth, we will be happy to offer you a complimentary checkup with the tooth sleuth so you can have peace of mind.

To schedule your appointment, call us at 941-5555.

Hope to see you soon.

1601 Kapiolani Blvd Suite 101 (Next to Ala Moana Shopping Center)
CALL 941-5555
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