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What does the pain of a cracked tooth feel like?



Sep 26, 2016
I had a root canal done on tooth #30 back in April. After a month or so, the tooth became very sensitive to the touch so much that talking and even trying to brush it was terrible.

My regular dentist took an xray and said everything looked good and that maybe crowning the tooth would help it. I just recently went through that process and once he put the temp crown on, a few days later the pain started again along with an on/off ache in my jaw, too.

I went back to the endo and he took several xrays, too, including a 3D one and he too said that things looked normal. He offered to redo the root canal for free. I did that and had that done two weeks ago. He filled the canals with medicine and said to give it a month and see how the tooth does. Well, guess what's back. :( The tenderness to the touch of the tooth again. It's worse at certain times and less at other. I also have the aching on and off in my jaw, too. That usually flares up twice a day out of the blue.

Both my dentist and endo said if the tooth continues to hurt it will need to be extracted because most likely it's cracked. Yet, my endo also said when he was in the tooth he didn't see any missed canals or cracks and he could see pretty far down.

I don't want to race out and have this tooth pulled but I'm at my wits end with this sensitivity to touch. It's driving me crazy at times. I do have another tooth that had a root canal on the other side of my mouth and it doesn't hurt and isn't sensitive but tapping it hurts. Am I just sensitive to this type of procedure? I also have a few other teeth on my upper jaw that had root canals years ago and they have no feeling whatsoever. Is the bottom jaw just more sensitive?

So, after that long story.....what does a cracked tooth feel like? If this tooth is cracked and the crack can't be seen, will I ever know whether it really is cracked? When/if they pull it and it should break into pieces, I'll never know. Plus, if they pull it and this pain continues after, I'll be really upset.

So, right now if I push on the tooth in any way from the outside of the molar and the top, it hurts. It feels tender and bruised. If I push from the inside there is no pain.

What are your thoughts? I'm so torn on what to do with this. I don't want to make a mistake by rushing to pull it. I have already had five teeth pulled over the years and I don't want to lose anymore unnecessarily.

If you read to here, thank you.
I am not a dentist and I don't know but I would guess that a cracked tooth if it were visibly cracked would probably produce pain on biting on a 'tooth sleuth'.

It's very difficult for you and ultimately you may decide enough is enough and opt to have it extracted.
Have you considered whether your pain could be neurological e.g. trigeminal neuralgia or similar - that is the classic one where people give up on several teeth before realising that extraction doesn't take the pain away.

Maybe get a copy of your xrays and ask a different endo if the teeth look as great on x-ray as you are being told - he is not supposed to get a long way down but to the end ideally! If you can see a black area at the bottom of the roots of the tooth that could indicate an infection being present. Have they discussed the xrays with you at all?
Best wishes - teeth problems are very wearing.

Your other tooth that you say hurts to tap, could imply infection to me (as a patient)- getting a second opinion on your x-rays would at least allow you to make an informed decision re the way forward. I agree it is always best to keep your teeth if possible but you need rct to be done to a sufficient standard that you are not living with latent infection in your mouth. If you did have it extracted, would you need to replace it with an implant? It's obviously an easier decision if you feel that can be the long-term solution.
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