It's hardly a mystery if a tooth with an untreated cavity begins to hurt. You can see the cause and are experiencing the outcome. This pain will be dull, more-or-less constant, and will invariably become worse without treatment. But sometimes the cause of a toothache can be puzzling. The tooth appears to be totally intact, without any gum inflammation at its base. What's more, your pain is erratic—sometimes it's excruciating, and sometimes it's barely there. There aren't any obvious signs of damage, so what could be causing your toothache?  

Immediate Detection

Your toothache may come and go, but does it noticeably bother you when you're eating? You could easily be experiencing a cracked tooth. This might sound like it would be very obvious and simple to identify, but this isn't always the case. Cracked teeth are notoriously skilled at avoiding immediate detection, as the crack itself can be well-camouflaged in your dental enamel.

An Urgent Matter

A toothache caused by a cracked tooth can rapidly worsen. It should be considered an urgent matter, and you may need to consult a clinic that offers emergency dental services in your area. This type of dental pain should not wait until your regular dentist can schedule an appointment. Since the tooth is cracked, its surface enamel has essentially been sectioned. The tooth comes under extreme pressure when eating and chewing, causing these sections to move irregularly. This movement can be painful, and your dental pulp (the tooth's nerve center) may become irritated, and even infected.

Locating the Tooth

An emergency dentist must locate the affected tooth. The pain might be originating from a specific tooth, which makes identification easier. But it's not always so straightforward, and your dentist may need to look at your teeth through a magnification tool, probe them to feel for the crack, and perform an X-ray. Once the crack has been definitively located, it can be treated.

Repairing the Crack

In standard cases, the crack is sealed using tooth-colored resin. It will seamlessly blend into your dental enamel, making the restoration invisible. If your case is complex, such as if the tooth's crack has developed in conjunction with decay, the tooth may need a filling, followed by a dental crown. The treatment method depends on the specifics of the case, but it's usually as simple as patching the crack.

Pain from a cracked tooth can come and go, but each time it comes, it seems like it's becoming worse. Don't hesitate in seeking emergency treatment, as this dental concern shouldn't wait until regular working hours.

Contact a local emergency dentist to learn more.