Cracked and fractured teeth are common dental problems. As people retain their natural teeth longer (due to advances in dental technology), the likelihood of cracked teeth increases. There are many reasons why teeth may crack, for example, biting on hard objects, trauma, grinding and clenching of teeth. All of these behaviors place the teeth under extra strain and render them more susceptible to cracking.
When tooth enamel is cracked, pain can become momentarily debilitating. In the absence of pressure on the crack, there may be no discomfort. However, as the cracked tooth performs a biting action, the crack widens. The pulp and inner workings of the tooth then become exposed, and painful irritation occurs. As pressure is released again, the two parts of the crack fuse back together, and pain subsides. If left untreated, the pulp becomes irreversibly damaged and constantly painful. The resulting pulp infection can affect the bone and soft tissue surrounding the tooth.
Symptoms of a cracked tooth may include:
Unexplained pain when eating.
Sensitivity to warm and cold foods.
Pain with no obvious cause.
Difficulty pinpointing the location of the pain.
How are cracks in the teeth treated?
There are many ways in which a tooth can be cracked. The specific type of crack will determine what type of treatment is viable. An x-ray might be needed. In cases where the crack is not too deep, root canal therapy can be performed, and the natural tooth can remain in the mouth. In other situations, the tooth is too badly damaged and requires extraction. There are a number of restorative options in this case, such as bridges, dental implants, and partial dentures. All of these structures can restore biting, chewing, and speaking functions.
If you have a cracked tooth or have any questions or concerns about cracked teeth, please contact our office. You can reach us at (212)726-0917 or firstname.lastname@example.org.