If you have cracked teeth, you can experience a variety of symptoms including intermittent pain when your tooth is exposed to very hot or cold foods and beverages.
Though the pain may come and go, it’s important to see your dentist or endodontist as soon as possible. The sooner the cracked tooth is treated, the better the result and healing of your tooth.
Read on to learn the different types of cracked teeth, their symptoms, and the treatment needed for every case.
Different Types of Cracked Teeth and Their Treatment
There are several categories of cracked teeth and the treatment your dentist may recommend will depend on the type, location, and extent of the crack.
Craze lines – these cracks are tiny and only affect the outer layer of the tooth (enamel). Craze lines are very common in permanent teeth. The crack is shallow and causes no pain. If you are concerned with the appearance of tiny cracks on your teeth, your dentist can fill in (composite filling) or whiten (dental bleaching) the cracks.
Fractured cusp – the cusp is the hard eminence on a tooth that develops on the surface. The canine teeth each have a single cusp. When the tooth’s biting surfaces breaks off, this is called a “fractured cusp”. This type of crack doesn’t often cause pain. Your dentist may recommend tooth filling or crown placement over the damaged tooth to protect it from further damage.
Cracked tooth – cracked teeth can be treatable or non-treatable. If the crack has reached the dental pulp, the tooth can be treated with root canal procedure as well as dental crowns to prevent the crack from spreading. However, if the crack extends below the gum line, your dentist may need to extract the tooth. Thus, if you have cracked teeth, early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in saving your teeth.
Split tooth – if a cracked tooth is left untreated for a long time, it can result in a split tooth. The crack has distinct segments that can be separated. This type of cracked tooth cannot be wholly saved. Your dentist will first determine the position and extent of the damage to determine if any portion of the tooth can still be saved. If a portion of a tooth is treatable, your dentist may perform root canal therapy.
Vertical root fracture – the crack starts in the root of the tooth and spreads toward the biting surface. A vertical root fracture often shows minimal indications and symptoms; thus, it goes unnoticed for some time. The damage is often discovered when the tooth becomes extremely painful, as the surrounding bone and gum have become infected.
Prevent Your Teeth From Cracking
Though cracked teeth are often caused by accident, which makes them not completely preventable, there are steps you can take to make your teeth less vulnerable to cracks and other forms of dental damage:
- Avoid chewing on hard objects or foods.
- Don’t clench or grind your teeth. If you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) talk to your dentist. A retainer or custom mouthguard may be recommended to alleviate your grinding activity.
- Wear a mouthguard provided by your dentist or a protective mask to protect your teeth from dental injury during contact sports.
Treatment for Cracked Teeth at Golden Square Dental
If you see cracks in your teeth, see your dentist right away at Golden Square Dental. Early examination and treatment helps you avoid further damage, possible infection and removal of tooth. We will thoroughly examine the cracks in your teeth and recommend the most suitable treatment you need.