Cracked Tooth Syndrome

cracked tooth

OVERVIEW:

A cracked tooth can result from chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth at night, and can even occur naturally as you age. It’s a common condition and the leading cause of tooth loss in industrialized nations. The image above shows how a cracked tooth presented in the mouth and how deep the crack actually travelled down the root when the tooth was extracted.

CAUSES:

Teeth crack because of a variety of issues, including:

  • pressure from teeth grinding
  • fillings so large they weaken the integrity of the tooth
  • chewing or biting hard foods, such as ice, nuts, or hard candy
  • blows to the mouth, such as might happen with a car accident, sporting injury, fall, or even a fistfight
  • abrupt changes in temperature in the mouth — for instance, from eat something extremely hot and then trying to cool your mouth with ice water
  • age, with most teeth cracks occurring in people over 50

SYMPTOMS:

Not every cracked tooth will produce symptoms. But when it does, common ones include:

  • pain when chewing or biting, especially when you release the bite
  • sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness
  • pain that comes and goes, but is rarely continuous
  • swelling of the gum around the affected tooth

TREATMENT:

Treatment depends on the size of the crack, where it’s located, your symptoms, and whether the crack extends into the gum line. Depending on those factors, your dentist may recommend one of the following:

  1. BONDING – In this procedure, your doctor uses a plastic resin to fill the crack, restoring its look and function.
  2. CROWN –  With proper care, a crown can last a lifetime.
  3. ROOT CANAL – When a crack is so extensive it extends into the pulp, Dr. Bell will recommend a root canal to remove damaged pulp and restore some integrity to the tooth. This procedure can prevent the tooth from becoming infected or weakening further.
  4. EXTRACTION – When the structure of the tooth, and the nerves and roots that lie below it, are very damaged, removing the tooth maybe your only option.

Call Dr. Katie Bell at Bell Dental, PA if you’re experiencing unusual symptoms with your teeth.