Cracked teeth can cause a number of dental problems, including injury and infection to the pulp of the teeth, and pain when chewing, and sensitivity to temperature. In some cases, you may need an apicoectomy to restore your oral health. To make an appointment with our endodontists and to learn more about cracked teeth give our office a call.
There are many different types of cracked teeth. However, all types of cracked teeth exhibit the same symptoms – including discomfort when chewing, sensitivity to temperature, and sometimes a release of biting pressure. It is also common for discomfort to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the exact cause of your dental discomfort.
Types of cracked teeth include:
- Craze Lines – Craze lines are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. They are superficial, and are not usually a cause for concern.
- Fractured Cusps – Fractured cusps occur when the cusp, or raised points of the top of the tooth, of the tooth becomes weakened, and either breaks off on its own or is removed by a dentist. Your tooth can usually be restored with a dental crown.
- Cracked Tooth – This type of crack extends from the chewing surface down towards the root, and in some cases may extend below the gum line and into the root. Cracked teeth often cause damage to the pulp, making a root canal necessary. If left untreated, it can lead to the loss of the tooth.
- Split Tooth – Split teeth usually occur when cracked teeth are left untreated. You can identify a split tooth by the distinct segments it breaks into. The position and extent of the problem will determine whether any portion of the damaged tooth can be saved. If so, our endodontists will mostly likely perform an endodontic retreatment to save part of your split tooth.
- Vertical Root Fracture – This type of crack begins and the root and extends towards the chewing surfaces of your tooth. Vertical root fractures do not exhibit obvious symptoms, and may go unnoticed for a long time. If any portion of your tooth can be saved, your treatment will involve endodontic surgery to remove that fractured root. Otherwise your tooth will be extracted.
Cracked teeth can be exacerbated through chewing, which causes the cracked pieces of your teeth to move, irritating the pulp within the tooth. At the same time, cracks can close quickly when biting pressure is released, causing sharp discomfort. Eventually, the pulp of your tooth will become damaged, leading to infection and discomfort. When this infection spreads to the bone and gum surrounding the tooth, an apicoectomy or other invasive procedure becomes necessary.
For more information on cracked teeth and to schedule an appointment please contact our office today.