Does a Cracked Tooth Mean I Have a Cavity?

Here at River Run Dental, many patients visit our office and ask us what their cracked tooth means. A cracked tooth arises when a tooth features a crack that’s too small to show up on x-rays or is under the gum and difficult to pinpoint. In most cases, cracked teeth are seen on molars.

If you have a cracked tooth, you may face pain and discomfort when biting into food or when your teeth are exposed to particularly hot or cold temperatures. It may feel somewhat like a cavity because the pain and discomfort won’t be constant. Sometimes, cracks are so tiny that we don’t recommend treatment since they typically don’t cause problems.

However, if your cracked tooth is causing pain and you are having trouble chewing, it’s important that we evaluate it and design a treatment plan. The most common treatments for cracked teeth include using a filling material to repair it, placing a crown to protect it from further damage, a root canal if pulp is present, and in the most severe cases, a tooth extraction.

While a cracked tooth may feel like a cavity, it is almost always not one. It is usually the result of chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth at night, and the natural process of aging. If you are facing a cracked tooth, it’s a good idea to visit the dentist and get it checked out, even if it’s small.

Schedule an Appointment at River Run Dental

If you are bothered by a cracked tooth and wondering whether it requires treatment, call us at 804-886-3157 to schedule an appointment.