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    Thread: cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jan 2012
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      Default cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

      Hello.

      I have set up a dentist appointment to have this looked at tomorrow morning, but that gives me a little over 12 hours to stress about the possibilities. So I've come here for some ideas, and hopefully some reassurance.

      My symptoms are a sharp pain in my bottom back tooth (has a filling on top, and on the side of tooth)when I bite down on something like bread, or chips, it hits quick and leaves quick. Which leaves me to believe that either the tooth is cracked, or the filling needs to be replaced. This has been going on for about 4 weeks. The tooth is slightly sensitive to cold, not so much hot.

      About 2 weeks ago my gum started to ache all along that side, some days more than others. I've kept it really clean, and flossed, I do warm salt water swishes. Heat and massaging the gum feels really good, but it almost makes it hurt more when I stop because it begins to ache.

      I grind my teeth, especially while stressing over teeth for a month straight, so I don't know if the gum ache is due to grinding and probing for infections - I look in the mirror about 20 times a day to see if there is any abscess or swelling, everything appears fine, it only bled a when I went a little floss crazy on it. But it feels like something is definitely off.

      I'm terrified that I'm going to need an extraction or a root canal. If it's a simple filling replacement at this point it would be a god-send. I know you can't tell without seeing the tooth or xrays, but does this sound like I waited too long to get it fixed and now I'm into some seriously scary territory? The pain has been pretty dull while not biting down, it doesn't wake me up from sleep or anything, but still, there feels like theres a lot going on and I'm worried, or a lot of it can be in my head...what would you guys assume?

      Thanks.

    2. #2
      Join Date
      Feb 2011
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      Default Re: cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

      Hi!

      Cracked teeth can be hard to diagnose, and a dentist have to see your tooth (and you) to find out what is wrong. The tooth can hurt on chewing without being cracked, for example with a loose filling.

      It's probably a good plan to avoid chewing on that side until you have seen your dentist.

      If it turns out that you need a root canal, don't worry about it. I've had six, and it was OK. It's just like having a filling, it just takes longer. And even an extraction is better than having a tooth that causes you pain every time you try to chew.


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      Soma (25th April 2012)

    4. #3
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      Jan 2012
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      Default Re: cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

      First off, thank you for the quick replies.

      I just got back from my dentist visit, he took xrays, poked around, had me bite down on that stick thing to check the cusps. Xrays came back clear, he said there was no visible decay, no visible abscesses. When he did the stick test he found the cusp that was causing the bite pain, he said the filling in the tooth looked very old and that he thinks that my problems are a result of the filling needing to be replaced and my stressful grinding.

      He said I could let it go for awhile, or he can replace the filling and see if that clears things up. Well I went there determined to fix the problem, so I had him replace the filling. I pray that this will resolve the issue, I'm now in that anxious state of waiting for the numbing to wear off to see what kind of situation I'm left with.

      If anything more comes of it, I'll be sure to update this post. Thanks again for the caring support.

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    6. #4
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      Jan 2012
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      Default Re: cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

      Sorry to drag this thread up again, but it's been a few days and I have a few questions now that things have settled.

      I'm still getting bite pain when I eat, it seems slightly less bite sensitive than it was before the filling, but it's definitely still there. My bottom left gum aches quite a bit still as well. From my wisdom tooth all the way up to my front tooth. It feels like a bruised/pressure sensation. Slightly sensitive to cold, but not too bad. Heat makes it feel throbby, but in a relieving good way.

      I figured out that if I don't chew to the point where my teeth really chomp down, it won't trigger the pain. Also, something that I noticed was that if I bring my teeth together really slowly - that spot with the bite pain is the very same spot that comes together before any of my other teeth. Now I've had 2 fillings above that spot, and the filling I just got this past week is the tooth directly below (thats the bite pain tooth) those 2. I'm now wondering if maybe my bite is off due to having 3 new/replaced fillings in the same location? Could that cause sharp fleeting bite pain and a very achey gum?

      If not could a cracked tooth cause all these symptoms and still not show up on an xray or in the mirror? Because everything looks clean on both. I just don't understand where this pain is coming from, I'm a worrier and it's all I think about until I get it resolved. If it is the bite I wouldn't have any idea how a dentist could fix it because we are talking about 3 teeth, not something I want to keep filing down with trial and error adjustments.

      Any ideas or advice are appreciated.

      Thanks guys.

    7. #5
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      Default Re: cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

      Hi, yeah it could be that one of the fillings is a bit high - if that's the case, then an easy adjustment may sort the problem. I had a tooth like that which had all the same symptoms you've been describing (minus the gum ache) after biting down hard on it in my sleep one night, nothing visible on x-ray etc., and it finally did settle down 2 years later (<-- probably shouldn't have mentioned that bit!). It kept getting better all the time, but very very gradually, and it's fine now. Just wanted to say that if nothing shows up on the x-ray, and it's improving (even if very slowly), it might recover .
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      Soma (25th April 2012)

    9. #6
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      Default Re: cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

      Ok, this should be my last addition to this thread. (I know other people need answers a lot more than I do here)

      I went to the dentist today and he adjusted the tooth above the newly re-filled tooth. The tooth he trimmed down was definitely the antagonist in the whole situation. After he trimmed it down, my bite felt immediately more comfortable. My only concern now is that when I came home I (gently) snacked on english muffin, and noticed that my tooth still had that 'zing' pain there in the same spot when I bit down.

      My bite has been off for over a month now, if we assume that my bite was all that was wrong, how quickly does the bite pain usually go away? Should it have been immediately gone? I'm just trying to figure out my next plan of action, if I should give it a couple weeks.

      Again, there is no sensitivity to heat, cold, no swelling, no blood, nothing on xrays..but a definite bite pain.

      Thank you to those who have answered my questions, you're amazing.

    10. #7
      Join Date
      Apr 2012
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      2

      Default Re: cracked tooth/filling and tender gums?

      I had a tooth with a broken cusp last year. Basically, I got a filling in my tooth like my dentist recommended and ignored the pain when I continued to have that zing upon biting on hard food. I wish I had gotten a second opinion sooner because, by the time my cracked tooth was prepped for a crown, the crack had gotten much worse. I still don't know the extent of the crack, or if it is still growing even with the crown. Neither the dentist nor any of the three endodontists I saw could find anything wrong with the tooth, and the biting pain seemed to grow and subside intermittently during the 6 months I had a temp crown on. All four professionals seemed ambivalent about weather or not I should get a root canal. In the end, I decided to get the crown without the root canal, and I'm still not sure I made the right decision. I have occasional cold sensitivity in the tooth but no biting pain now. I suspect I will have to get a root canal and new crown (my current crown is zirconia; PFM would not fit) eventually. They can drill through zirconia to do an emergency root canal if necessary, but zirconia can not be patched up again. I'm just hoping the need for a root canal holds off until my husband and I are out of grad school and are hopefully making some money.

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