How do I know I have a Cracked Tooth?"
Cracked teeth can show different symptoms, such as:
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitivity to change in temperature
- Pain upon release of biting pressure
- Pain that comes and goes
- Consistent pain
We can diagnose and guide you towards the appropriate treatment option for your cracked tooth, which may or may not involve root canal treatment. Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, causing the pulp inside the tooth to become irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, leading to sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and the tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. Cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue and spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth. This is why evaluation of a cracked tooth by a specialist is important.
These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel and are usually superficial.
When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture can occur. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so a root canal is not necessary. Your general dentist will usually place a crown to restore the fracture cusp.
This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line. Damage to the pulp is common. In this case, root canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. Detecting a cracked tooth early is extremely important.
A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with different segments. The position and extent of the problem will dictate whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. Sometimes, endodontic treatment by an endodontist and restoration by your general dentist can be used to save a portion of the tooth.
Vertical Root Fracture
A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Unfortunately, they show minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. Treatment involves endodontic surgery if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root. Otherwise the tooth will have to be extracted.