All About Cracked Teeth
All teeth are important and when one of them gets cracked, it can be difficult to chew effectively. Worse, a cracked tooth can be not only downright painful, it can open up the door to further damage and infection. Read on to learn about how to prevent cracking a tooth and how a dental professional treats different cracks.
How Can I Prevent Cracked Teeth?
There are some precautionary measures you can take to decrease your chances of cracking a tooth:
- Try not to chew on hard objects like ice.
- Get a nightguard if you grind your teeth while sleeping.
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in contact sports.
How Are Different Types of Cracks Treated?
There are 5 different types of cracks in teeth, which call for different treatments:
1. Craze Line
- Considered micro-fractures, craze lines are barely noticeable, superficial cracks. Since they are shallow in depth, only affecting affect the enamel, they don't normally cause any symptoms and are generally only corrected for aesthetic purposes.
2. Fractured Cusp
- Fractured cusps are when the pointed, chewing surface of a tooth is damaged. These types of cracks rarely reach the sensitive inner pulp. Fractured cusps can be removed by a dentist, may break off on their own, or are treated with a dental filling or crown.
3. Cracked Tooth
- A cracked tooth is when there's a fracture from the surface down into the root. This means that there is often damage to the inner pulp, which may require root canal treatment and a dental restoration. If left untreated, the infection to to the pulp could get worse and require a complete tooth extraction.
4. Split Tooth
- A split tooth occurs when a cracked tooth is not treated and gets worse. While it’s fairly difficult to save a split tooth, there is a chance a dentist can save the tooth or at least a section of it depending on what part of the tooth is cracked and where it’s located.
5. Vertical Root Fracture
- A vertical root fracture is when a crack starts in a tooth's root and goes up towards the surface. Due to this, it can go unnoticed for a while until the nearby gum or bone becomes infected. Endodontic therapy or tooth extraction (if the tooth cannot be saved) may be necessary.
If you see that you have a cracked tooth or you feel some tooth pain, contact our office today for an appointment so we can take a look and get you back to a healthy smile!