Teeth can crack for a variety of reasons including injury, general wear and tear, chewing on hard foods, etc. Cracked teeth may not always show visible signs of damage, but can lead to a variety of symptoms such as:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Pain while chewing
- Difficulty locating the origin of toothache
- Sudden pain in the tooth without any cause
- Increase in tooth mobility
Types of tooth cracks
Craze lines are small, shallow cracks that are painless and only affect the outer part of the tooth. These cracks are quite common in adult teeth.
A cusp fracture occurs when a piece of a tooth’s chewing surface breaks, often around a filling. Fractured cusps are usually painless and rarely result in pulp damage. They can be treated using fillings or crowns.
Sometimes, a tooth crack vertically extends from the chewing surface of your tooth towards the root but does not result in complete breakage of the tooth into two pieces. Early diagnosis is crucial in order to save such a tooth. If the crack has reached into the pulp, the tooth can be treated using root canal therapy and a crown to protect the crack from spreading. However, if the crack extends below the gum line, it is no longer treatable, and the tooth will need to be extracted.
A split tooth is one that is cracked with distinct, separable segments and is often caused by long-term progression of a cracked tooth. In such cases, the treatment depends on the extent and position of the crack. In some cases, root canal treatment may be performed to save a portion of the tooth.
Vertical Root Fracture
Vertical root fractures start in the root and extend upwards to the biting surface of the tooth. They often go unnoticed as they show minimal symptoms for some time. Their progression causes an infection in the surrounding bone and gum. Treatment may involve extraction of the tooth or a root canal procedure.
If you think you may have a cracked tooth, contact our office for a consultation immediately. We will help you with timely treatment to help save your tooth.