- If the pain is only when you bite on the tooth
- It tends to be hard things that you bite that give you pain
- It may be sensitive to cold but the pain is gone after 15 or so seconds
- It may be tender if you grind your teeth when certain teeth hit in certain positions
- It doesn't necessarily always do this even when you bite and try to make it happen again
Then this usually implies that you have what we call a “cracked cusp”. This is where due to either the size of an existing filling or due to your particular bite a side of your tooth has continuously been pushed, flexed or “bent” outwards as you bite and if you did this many times as we all do when we eat, swallow, grind or clench our teeth , then this corner of the tooth develops a small crack along its weakest line.
If you do nothing then this may be erratic and you can put up with it, it may get worse, or eventually that side of your tooth will break off. Depending on the line of fracture you may expose the “nerve” of the tooth and this will lead to further problems.
You must see your dentist. In the early stages of this problem the offending tooth segment can be repaired either by replacing the restoration already there and also taking into the restoration the part that is cracked, it may be that due to factors existing in the tooth already a crown or onlay may be more conducive to treatment.
But repair at an early stage will prevent the possibility of more complex work required.
If the nerve has been exposed then either root anal therapy will be required or extraction depending on the patient's wishes after discussions with his dental professional.