Cracked teeth are among the most common dental problems that occur, and as people now retain their original teeth for longer and longer, the likelihood of cracked teeth has increased. When your teeth crack, our skilled dentists can provide treatments to restore the tooth and help you regain a healthy, functional smile. For more information about cracked teeth and to schedule your appointment with Dr. Andrew Smith and Dr. Jason Wareham in Murray, Utah, call Wasatch Gentle Dental at 801-262-6661.
Teeth may crack for many reasons, including biting on hard objects, grinding and clenching of the teeth (bruxism), or as a result of trauma. When tooth enamel cracks, the pain can be momentarily debilitating. However, if there is no pressure on the crack, there may be no consistent discomfort. Biting actions cause the crack to gradually widen, exposing the inner portions of the tooth, and eventually damaging the pulp and causing an infection.
Common symptoms of cracked teeth include:
- Unexplained pain while eating
- Sensitivity to temperature
- Pain without any apparent cause
- Difficulty in pinpointing the location of your pain
The type of treatment our dentists provide will depend on the type of crack you experience. Some of the most common types of cracks include:
- Crazes – tiny cracks in the surfaces of the teeth. Most dentists consider these scratches to be part of normal tooth anatomy. Treatments for this type of crack are purely cosmetic.
- Oblique supragingival cracks – cracks that affect only the crown (visible portion) of the tooth. There is very little pain, and the tooth pulp is generally unaffected.
- Oblique subgingival cracks – cracks that extend beyond the gum line and into the jawbone. Treatment involves a combination of periodontal surgery to expose the crown and endodontic treatment to place a dental crown or other restorative treatment.
- Vertical furcation cracks – this type of crack occurs when the tooth roots separate, and almost always affect the tooth nerves. Root canal therapy and a crown can usually save the tooth.
- Oblique root cracks – these cracks damage the tooth below the gum line, and usually below the jawbone. Extraction is usually the only treatment option, though root canal therapy may be possible in some cases.
- Vertical apical root cracks – cracks which occur at the tip of the root. This type of crack causes significant pain, and many patients request a tooth extraction as a result.
To learn more about cracked teeth and our available treatments, we welcome you to call our office today.