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Pain in cracked tooth - infection?

F

FrightenedJerk

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Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
93
Location
Pittsburgh
Not asking for a diagnosis, just an idea of what could be happening and where I should go. I posted a thread in the Support forum about what I'm going through with cracking my upper molar and not having been to the dentist in decades. I had not had any pain in the newly cracked molar (cracked top to bottom up under the gumline) and ate gingerly on it. Food got up into the cleft, but I could flick it out with my tongue or a brush. A few days ago I crunched a cookie up into it, and I guess it impinged on something because I got a bad toothache. Took some Advil and went to bed, and in the morning the ache was gone. It has threatened to come back when I've gotten a smaller particle up in it, but I have tried not to eat on that side (and I can't eat well on the other side either due to a cracked lower molar from years ago which has a twinge of dull pain when I put too much pressure on it). Today, though, when I've sucked in my mouth (such as sucking a straw or even just sucking in saliva), it causes a bit of pain in the newly cracked molar - a twinge that if I pushed it or ate on it, would likely continue rather than just being a sharp twinge.

I have my first deep cleaning appointment on Thursday and am also due for seven fillings at some point. The two cracked molars are unable to be helped and need to come out. My desire was to get the other work done and sort of prepare myself mentally for the ordeal of the extractions and likely implants. I didn't have a timetable, but this might accelerate it. Is any twinge of pain like this a sign of an infection, or could the nerve just be exposed. Why wouldn't I have felt pain prior even with food going up in the cleft, but I am currently?

Also, when I go to this cleaning, I'm not sure if they will clean that tooth or the gums around it, but they'll numb me up. That will prohibit any pain from the cracked tooth during the cleaning, right? When the effect of the novocaine goes away, is it possible that this tooth could be totally inflamed and painful?
 
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Is any twinge of pain like this a sign of an infection, or could the nerve just be exposed. Why wouldn't I have felt pain prior even with food going up in the cleft, but I am currently?
Yes it's probably been infected for some time. It'll have been quietly draining down into your oral cavity. Pain from tooth infections is basically due to pressure on the space between the tooth and the jawbone. When you blocked it up with the food it stopped draining and you got some pain.
 
Yes it's probably been infected for some time. It'll have been quietly draining down into your oral cavity. Pain from tooth infections is basically due to pressure on the space between the tooth and the jawbone. When you blocked it up with the food it stopped draining and you got some pain.
So do all cracks become infected? Why would it just twinge slightly sometimes, though? I don't have an abscess yet that I can tell. Should I try to have this removed as soon as possible? I'll check with them when I go in.

Also, I mentioned the lower molar that was cracked in 2008; it had a filling in it and part of the side cracked off and eventually gum grew over that area. I used to eat on that side, but quit when I cracked it. That tooth needs to come out, and when I have eaten on it since I can't really eat on the other side, I have felt a slight ache but not a sharp pain. So that would be infected, and likely for the whole 15 years is what you're saying?
 
If the tooth is broken down enough that the nerve dies, then yes it'll be infected by bacteria. It's not a constant process the bacterial load will vary up and down a bit, sometimes more aggressive bugs may move in or whatever.
As for how soon it's removed that's up to you and your dentist. Can't say without seeing you.

Yes, the other tooth probably is infected too.

I think that you're getting a bit confused about what "infection" means. It doesn't automatically mean raging toothache and swelling etc.
 
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