Cracked and fractured teeth are common dental problems. As people retain their natural teeth longer (due to advances in dental technology), the likelihood of cracked teeth increases. There are many reasons why teeth may crack, for example, biting on hard objects, trauma, grinding and clenching of teeth. All of these behaviors place the teeth under extra strain and render them more susceptible to cracking.
When tooth enamel is cracked, pain can become momentarily debilitating. In the absence of pressure on the crack, there may be no discomfort. However, as the cracked tooth performs a biting action, the crack widens. The pulp and inner workings of the tooth then become exposed, and painful irritation occurs. As pressure is released again, the two parts of the crack fuse back together, and pain subsides. If left untreated, the pulp becomes irreversibly damaged and constantly painful. The resulting pulp infection can affect the bone and soft tissue surrounding the tooth.
Symptoms of a cracked tooth may include:
- Unexplained pain when eating.
- Sensitivity to warm and cold foods.
- Pain with no obvious cause.
- Difficulty pinpointing the location of the pain.
Range of cracks in teeth....
Not all tooth cracks/fractures are the same....There are many ways in which a tooth can be cracked. The specific type of crack will determine what type of treatment is viable. We area able to perform tests to help determine the severity of the crack in the tooth.
- If the crack is determined to be minimal, then a simple crown may be recommended.
- If the crack is found to be more significant, then a root canal and crown is recommended.
- If the crack is thought to be very extensive, particularly running down to the root or floor of the tooth, then extraction may be recommended.