Aside from the aesthetic issues with a cracked tooth, they can also cause serious oral health issues or pain while chewing. Book your appointment to find out the best way to treat your specific situation.
Bad habits such as clenching, grinding, and chewing on hard objects are becoming more and more prevalent today. These may seem harmless at first, but they accumulate over time and can severely weaken your teeth, causing potential chips and cracks.
Fixing a cracked tooth helps prevent further damage to the tooth structure and tissue as well as clearing up any cosmetic issues. While a cracked tooth may not show any visibly problematic signs, they often have other symptoms that are signs that it should be treated:
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Periodic pain that goes away and comes back
Why Cracked Teeth Hurt
At first, a cracked tooth may not be very painful. They typically hurt more and more as they are used and exposed to food and liquids. When you bite down on a cracked tooth, it can open up slightly and then close very suddenly when the pressure is released. This is what causes the sharp pain from a cracked tooth.
After longer periods of time without treating a cracked tooth, it can get bad enough to no longer be able to heal itself. This is a serious issue and will often cause the tooth to be painful on its one without eating or drinking anything.
If it still goes untreated, it can become seriously infected which can then spread to the gum tissue surrounding the tooth.
Types of Cracked Teeth
A tooth can crack in many different ways, which exhibits different symptoms and calls for a different type of treatment. Our dentist is experienced with all of these types of cracks and knows the best way to treat them.
Some cracks go vertically up the tooth towards the root. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the tool is in two distinct parts. The positioning of the style of crack may cause damage to the pulp which would often lead to a root canal treatment.
A split tooth is a cracked tooth that has gone too long without treatment. It means that the tooth is split into two (or more) distinct segments. In most cases, the entirety of the tooth can’t be saved, but we may be able to save portions of the tooth and use other methods to repair it.
Craze lines are small, shallow cracks that only affect the enamel of the tooth. They are very common in adults and are only a concern cosmetically. Craze lines don’t affect your oral health or the structure of your tooth.
The cusp of your tooth is the pointed part of the chewing surface. If it becomes weakened, it can fracture. Then it will fall off naturally or be removed by your dentist. Typically this won’t require a root canal, so a simple crown will help repair your tooth.
Vertical Root Fracture
A vertical root fracture begins at the base of your tooth (near the gums) and extends up towards the chewing surface of your tooth. Be on the lookout for this type of crack because it is typically not easily noticeable until it becomes serious. After a period of not being treated, it will often lead to infections in the surrounding bone and gum. Depending on the case, the tooth may need to be extracted or a portion of the tooth can be saved
How to Prevent Cracked Teeth
Cracked teeth aren’t 100% preventable, but there a number of conscious decisions that you can make to drastically decrease the chance of it happening to you.
- Don’t chew on hard objects like ice, popcorn kernels, pens, or pencils
- Don’t clench your teeth hard
- Don’t grind your teeth
- Wear a mouthguard while playing contact sports
- Visit your dentist every six months to ensure early detection of any potentially weakened teeth
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