Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even with pain to release on biting. It is also common for pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.
Chewing can cause movement of the cracked portions of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth will then become injured, inflamed, and painful. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in a quick, sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will likely become damaged and tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. The crack than then lead to the death of the pulp, referred to as “pulpal necroses” which can lead to infection of the bone, gum tissue, and fascial spaces surrounding the problematic tooth.
Types of Cracks
These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are more common in adults. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern.
When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or be removed by a dentist. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so root canal is not necessary. Your dentist will usually restore the tooth with a full crown.
Treatable Cracked Tooth
This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertically migrates towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. In this case, root canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.
A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. This type of tooth can never be saved intact. Yet, the position and extent of the problem will dictate whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. Sometimes, endodontic retreatment by the doctors and restoration by your dentist can be used to save a portion of the tooth.
Vertical Root Fracture
A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Unfortunately, they show minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. Treatment involves endodontic surgery if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root. Otherwise, the tooth will have to be extracted.
Patient Reviews: Cracked Teeth
This reviews section is in progress. Please visit the Patient Review form to leave a review about your cracked teeth experience with Dr. Horalek and the Staff at North Raleigh Endodontics. Call our office if you would like more information: North Raleigh Endodontics Office Phone Number 919-256-3996.