Many of us who have mostly straight smiles opt not to get orthodontics when we’re young. Or maybe we get orthodontics in one arch but not the other. We may have one or two crooked teeth, but it doesn’t bother us too much aesthetically.
However, sometimes they do bother us physically. They can hurt us more often than our other teeth, which makes them a nuisance. What is causing this pain? Is it serious? Do you need to see the dentist? There are a few potential causes for this, some of which may need attention.
One of the biggest potential causes for your tooth hurting is that it might be experiencing more force than your other teeth. When teeth are straight, they share the bite load evenly. But when one tooth is crooked, it may be put under force early or may be taking more than its share of the load.
Why would this only cause pain sometimes and not every day? It may be that the one tooth doesn’t receive that much more force, so it only hurts when you put it under more force than usual by clenching your teeth or if you bite down wrong or suddenly. This is more likely to happen, for example, when you’re stressed, low on sleep, consume too much caffeine, or smoke too many cigarettes.
It may be that the uneven pressure on the crooked tooth has caused it to become more worn than your other teeth. This may expose the softer dentin inside, which can make it more vulnerable to temperature and pressure sensitivity.
It’s even possible that you’ve worn the tooth down enough that the pulp is exposed, which can lead to ongoing sensitivity.
Crooked teeth are more likely to get food trapped between them. If you have one crooked tooth, you’ve probably noticed that it’s like a magnet for little seeds and pieces of nuts, crisps, or candies.
When food gets trapped here, it can make your teeth hurt, and probably impacts the crooked one most.
One of the challenges of having a crooked tooth is that it can be harder to clean around than your other teeth. When you get hard foods caught in your teeth, it can cause acute pain, but soft foods and residues can also get trapped in there. You might not notice these at first, but bacteria do.
When you have food trapped between your teeth, bacteria can multiply more quickly, causing damage to your teeth. You might get cavities between the crooked tooth and its neighbor, especially if you’re not flossing regularly. Because the cavity is hidden from view, you might not know it’s there until it hurts or until you visit the dentist.
What Can Be Done?
We can recommend solutions depending on the source of your pain. If the tooth is under excessive force, we can work on balancing your bite to minimize the damage.
If you have decay, we can treat it with filling and recommend changes to your oral hygiene to prevent future problems.
We also offer quick braces that can make your teeth straight so you don’t have this problem in the future. In a consultation, we can help you find the most economical, effective solution for your smile.