Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when you chew, temperature sensitivities, or even the release of biting pressure. It’s common for this pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of your discomfort.
Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, irritating the pulp within it. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and your tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It’s also possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to your bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth.
Types of Cracks
These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of your teeth. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern. These cracks are more common in adults.
When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or need to be removed. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so a root canal is not necessary. Dr. Funderburk will usually restore the tooth with an onlay or full crown.
This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertically migrates towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below your gum line. It’s possible for the crack to extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. In this case, root canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of your tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.
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A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. This type of tooth can never be saved intact. However, the position and extent of your problem will dictate whether any portion of your tooth can be saved. Sometimes, endodontic treatment and restoration by Dr. Funderburk 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 your 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 your tooth will have to be extracted.