Cracked Teeth

Cracked Tooth Symptoms

A cracked tooth presents itself with various types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even discomfort upon the release of biting pressure. It’s also not unusual for the pain to go away, then come back, which makes it harder to diagnose why there is discomfort.

Chewing can cause the cracked pieces in your mouth to shift around, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, you might experience a piercing pain when the biting pressure is released, resulting in the crack to seal quickly. The pain will eventually become continuous, even when there is no chewing action, when the pulp becomes damaged further. At this point, the pulp may become infected, and it could lead to spreading to the gum and bone near that damaged tooth.

Types of Cracks

Craze Lines

Tiny, barely noticeable cracks, which only disturb the outer enamel of a tooth, and mostly discovered in adult teeth. They typically don’t cause too much problem, because they are superficial.

fractured cusp

Fractured Cusp

A weakened cusp often leads to a fracture, which could be removed by your dentist, or it might break off on its own. A root canal might be in order, if the pulp ends up damaged, and quite possibly a full crown.

cracked tooth

Cracked Tooth

If there is a crack in the clinical crown extending from the chewing surface, it might cause the pulp to become damaged, leading to a possible root canal. If the cracked tooth is not treated, it could worsen, to the point of needing an extraction.

split tooth

Split Tooth

If a cracked tooth goes untreated, it can result in a split tooth. It is probable that you will lose the tooth, but if it is savable, it would likely require endodontic treatment for a restoration.

vertical root fracture

Vertical Root Fracture

When the root fracture starts in the root, then spreads to the chewing surface, it’s called a vertical root fracture. This type of fracture often goes unnoticed, until the damage needs a corrective procedure, or extraction.

Treatment Options for Cracked Teeth

A cracked tooth isn’t just about vanity. Repairing it, depending on the severity, can be critical for maintaining a healthy smile and mouth. Just as there are various types of cracked teeth, there are also various options for treatment. The list below shows a variety of treatments for a cracked tooth, and listed in order of the degree of severity, starting with the least severe:

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Filing

Part of the tooth can be filed down, if the crack is minor. This will take the edge off and will likely be enough, unless it cracks further for some reason.

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Dental Bonding

The fractured portion of the tooth is bound together, or partial replacement, with a white filling material. This is often a great option for a tooth with a minor chip.
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Mouth Guard

With small fractures, wearing a mouth guard at night when you sleep could help diminish symptoms. At times, it’s also used to prevent cracks.
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Crown

If the tooth has a significant crack, the doctor might suggest a crown. This will cover the cracked tooth, protecting it from further cracking.
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Root Canal

If the crack has reached into the pulp, it could affect the nerve, creating intense pain. At this point, it will be recommended you have a root canal performed. The pulp is cleansed, and then filled. Afterward, a crown will be placed on the tooth.
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Extraction

If there is a vertical fracture, there isn’t much you can do to save the tooth. The doctor will recommend that the tooth be extracted. After the extraction, you could have an implant, bridge, or partial denture to replace the tooth.

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(888) 272-7190

Mon - Thurs: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Fri: 7:30am - 1:00pm
Sat - Sun: Closed

(888) 272-7190

Mon - Thurs: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Fri - Sun: Closed