Cracked tooth can be unsightly and even cause a toothache. However, an early diagnosis and root canal can save your cracked tooth. We know how to diagnose your symptoms and hopefully keep your teeth. Smiles are created to last—especially because the enamel of our teeth is the strongest substance in our body. However, wear and tear of everyday life can cause damage, such as cracks. Therefore, it is important to seek assistance right away.
How Would I Know if my Tooth is Cracked?
There are many symptoms of a cracked tooth. Most common symptoms are:
- spontaneous pain
- Pain when you put pressure on that tooth
- After drinking cold water
- After drinking or eating hot food
In some cases, the pain is not constant, and your dentist might have trouble finding which tooth causes discomfort.
Why Does my Cracked Tooth Hurt?
You need to understand the anatomy of the tooth to know why a cracked tooth hurts. The outer portion of your tooth is called enamel, and the hard part of your tooth underneath is called dentin. However, the soft inner tissue is called dental pulp. The dental pulp is where the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves are located. When there is a crack in the outer portion of the tooth, the inner pulp can become inflamed, irritated and sensitive to temperature. Over time, the broken tooth could hurt more and toothache get more constant. Major cracks may lead to infection of the root canal and cause bone loss and gum disease. It is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible.
What if I Chip my Tooth?
One of the most common dental injuries is chipped teeth. Most of these teeth can be repaired by reattaching the broken tooth through bonding or by attaching a crown if there is no dental pulp exposure or trauma to the blood circulation of the dental pulp. See the endodontist near you as soon as you can after the injury to prevent it from worsening.
What Are The Treatment Options for Cracked Tooth?
As we mentioned before if there is not irreversible damage to the dental pulp, a simple cosmetic dental repair is enough to take care of the problem. If the fractured has involved the dental pulp, the treatment is more complex and you need to contact your dentist as soon as possible. There are many types of cracks that can happen to teeth, the treatment, as well as the outcome for your particular situation, depends on the kind of trauma, the location and the extent of the crack. Contact our office to learn more about the options available or set up a consultation.
What Are Craze Lines on My Teeth?
Craze lines are small cracks that are only on the outer enamel of your teeth. These cracks are very commonly seen in adult teeth. These craze lines are shallow and cause no pain. In most cases, craze lines are of no concern beyond appearance issues.
What is a Fractured Tooth Cusp?
When part of the tooth’s surface for chewing breaks, usually around a filling, this is called a fractured cusp. This particular problem rarely causes damage to the pulp of the tooth and does not cause much pain. A dentist will place a filling or crown over the tooth to protect it from further harm.
If you have cracked a tooth, you could find that drinking cold drinks or breathing through your mouth is painful. Bite on clean, moist gauze to relieve symptoms until you can make it to the dentist’s office. Do not use topical pain medicines or place aspirin on the tooth to eliminate the pain as that can make treatment more difficult.
What is The difference between Cracked Teeth and Fractured Teeth?
A cracked tooth occurs when a crack ranges vertically from the tooth’s surface towards the root. The tooth does not separate into pieces, but the crack may spread. It is important to diagnose this early to save the tooth. When the crack spreads into the pulp, the tooth will require a root canal for treatment and crown.
When the crack extends below the gum line, the problem is not treatable, and the tooth will not be savable. At this point, the tooth must be extracted. This is the reason early treatment is so important. If a cracked tooth is not treated properly, it will become worse over time and eventually result in tooth loss. Early treatment can save these teeth.
What Is a Split Tooth?
The long-term progression of a cracked tooth is called a split tooth. This is identified by a crack with segments that could be separated. These teeth cannot be saved in one piece. Depending on the position of the crack will determine if any part of the tooth is savable. Endodontic treatment can save part of the tooth.
What Is A Vertical Root Fracture?
If the fractured has extended to the root it is called vertical root fracture. Most of the time the fracture starts from crown to the apex of the root canal. These teeth have more symptoms like sensitivity to cold, and heat or when patient put pressure on that area. In some cases, vertical root fracture begins down at the root. These cracks extend upwards toward the surface. These fractures do not always show symptoms and may sometimes not be noticed. These are usually discovered when the surrounding bone or gum becomes infected. If the fracture is significant, preferred treatment options include extraction of the tooth in question. Surgery is occasionally appropriate when the tooth is savable.
After cracked tooth treatment, will the tooth heal completely?
Unlike broken bones, fractures in teeth do not heal. Even with treatment, some cracks can progress and separate which will eventually result in loss of teeth. Placing a crown on the tooth provides protection but does not guarantee success.
The treatment you receive is important since it relieves pain and reduces the chance the crack worsens. Once it is treated, most broken teeth continue to function and provide stable chewing surfaces. Talk to our endodontists about your diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.
You may not be able to prevent every tooth crack, but taking a few simple steps will make your teeth less susceptible. Keep these tips in mind:
- Do not chew on ice or other hard objects
- Avoid grinding or clenching teeth; Consider a mouth guard if you grind your teeth while you sleep
- Wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth when playing contact sports