Fractured or cracked teeth are common dental issues. Today many people can preserve their natural teeth longer due to various technological advancements. This raises the chances of having cracked teeth may crack for various reasons, for instance, clenching and grinding of teeth, trauma, biting on hard objects. These behaviors put more pressure on the teeth, making them prone to cracking.
Cracked tooth enamel can result in debilitating pain. There may be no discomfort if there’s no pressure on the crack. However, the crack widens with every biting action the tooth performs.
The pulp is then exposed and causes the patient to experience painful irritation. When pressure is released, the pain reduces due to the two parts of the crack fusing together. If not treated, the pulp becomes damaged beyond compare. The resulting pulp infection is capable of affecting the soft tissue and bone around the tooth.
A cracked tooth may show symptoms which may include:
- Sensitivity to cold and warm foods
- Severe pain when eating
- Difficulty detecting where the pain is
- Pain with no obvious cause
What kind of cracks can affect the teeth?
The tooth can be cracked in many ways. The most appropriate treatment will depend on the specific type of crack. If the crack appears to be too deep, root canal therapy may be the best option, and the natural tooth in the mouth can be preserved. Also, sometimes the tooth is so damaged that it requires extraction.
Some of the most common types of cracks include:
Crazes – these refer to small cracks that pose no danger to the teeth. These tiny dents on the teeth are considered by most dentists to be a part of the tooth anatomy. A craze often does not need treatment, but various cosmetic enhancements can be performed to improve the appearance of the teeth.
Oblique supragingival cracks – the form of cracks are known to only affect the tooth and often don’t go below the gum line. Most of the time, the affected part of the tooth fall off in the end. You will feel some pain because the pulp of the tooth will remain intact.
Oblique subgingival cracks – these form of cracks spread beyond the gum line and beyond the area where the jawbone begins. A piece that breaks off will often remain attached until it is removed by the dentist. Oblique subgingival cracks come with a lot of pain and may require both periodontal surgery (which exposes the crown) and endodontic treatment which is used in placing the crown, or other restorative appliances.
Vertical furcation cracks – the cracks are common where the roots of the tooth separate. This is a type of crack that mostly affects the nerve of the tooth. Because the tooth is not likely to separate completely, a crown and root canal therapy will usually be enough to save the tooth.
Oblique root cracks – these forms of cracks seem not to affect the tooth surface in any way. In fact, the effect is only obvious below the gum line as well as below the jawbone. There may be a possibility of carrying out Root canal therapy may, depending on the proximity of the fracture to the surface of the tooth. However, extraction remains almost the only solution to this type of fracture.
Vertical apical root cracks – these types of cracks take place at the tip of the root. Though this crack does not need an extraction from a dental angle, lots of patients often demand an extraction as a result of severe pain. The pain can be alleviated using root canal therapy, but most of the time, this form of crack often lead to tooth extraction.
How are cracks in the teeth treated?
Cracked teeth are of numerous types. Some can be seen by the naked eye, while others can only be revealed when x-rays are taken. In situations where it affects the root, root canal therapy is usually the best option. The vessels, nerves, and pulp of the tooth be taken out, and the space left will be filled with gutta-percha. A filling or crown is then added to the tooth to stabilize it, and it will be back to its original functionality.
If the crack is so sincere that it cannot be saved, the dentist carries out an extraction. Several restorative options are available in this case, such as partial dentures, dental implants, and bridges. All these structures are capable of restoring chewing, biting and speaking functions.
For concerns or questions about cracked teeth, please get in touch with our office.