Cracked teeth can be an enormously stressful dental concern for both patients and dentists, as they are difficult to diagnose and treat before worsening further.
Craze lines are hairline fractures in the tooth’s enamel that appear as faint vertical lines and may be caused by teeth grinding, ice chewing and large dental fillings. Although typically not painful, they may accumulate stain or plaque accumulation over time.
Cracks in the Enamel
Tooth enamel is often considered indestructible; however, when subjected to severe force or overloaded with large dental fillings it can crack. Untreated cracks may eventually break all the way through to dentin level exposing its sensitive pulp to constant pressure and movement which may eventually lead to its death; in such an instance it must be addressed immediately by a dentist as this medical emergency.
Cracked enamel can be difficult to detect. Not always visible to the naked eye and not always detected by x-rays, symptoms may include discomfort when chewing, temperature sensitivity or an unusual taste; while cracked teeth may lead to constant, chronic pain. Furthermore, their infection risk is elevated.
If cracked teeth go untreated quickly, their cracks can worsen and lead to further pulp damage or even the need for root canal therapy or extraction. A dentist will perform a visual exam using rubber dam isolation of the affected area in order to spot tiny cracks more easily; run a dental explorer around each tooth for signs of “catching”, while possibly applying dye highlighting cracked areas as part of diagnosis process.
Crowns are often the go-to solution for cracked teeth. A porcelain or ceramic crown caps off damaged tooth structure and restores both function and appearance; your dentist can custom design a crown specifically to meet your needs, typically installing it all in just one visit.
To prevent cracked teeth, avoid biting down on ice cubes and hard candies and focus on eating well-balanced meals to support healthy bones and gums. Also visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and bite checks.
Cracks in the Dentin
Cracked dentin teeth are among the most frequently found tooth conditions, making diagnosis more complex than cracks that extend through enamel. Your dentist can detect such issues using various diagnostic tools such as visual examination, bite check, dental explorer and radiographs.
Cracked teeth may cause discomfort when chewing, since the cracked pieces irritate the pulp of the tooth and lead to infections in its surrounding gum tissues and bones.
Cracked teeth present a more serious threat than other forms of cracks because they tend to progress rapidly. Over time, this could eventually cause it to spread down the root and eventually require the tooth’s removal or break off entirely. Therefore, early treatment is vital and more successful.
Treatment for this type of crack depends on its severity and direction as well as how much of the original tooth remains intact. Your dentist may suggest crowning, root canal therapy, or extracting.
Cracks may not extend into the pulp of a tooth and therefore be untreatable, however it’s important to remember that an untreated crack will only worsen and could spread to adjacent teeth, periodontal ligaments or jawbone.
Cracked teeth can be very painful. To ensure proper diagnosis and treatment, it is crucial that as soon as a suspected cracked tooth arises it be scheduled for an evaluation as soon as possible. Without treatment it could lead to further complications including an abscess; infection spreading from broken piece of tooth into gums, bone or surrounding area leading to swelling, tender glands or bad breath; cracked piece of tooth can break off, which will interfere with eating or drinking activities; cracked piece may even split away completely causing difficulty eating and drinking activities
Cracks in the Root
Cracked teeth that extend from their chewing surface downward into their roots should be considered serious and need immediate treatment. Your dentist may offer root canal procedures or crowns as ways to save the tooth; otherwise extraction will likely be the only viable option.
Untreated cracked teeth will worsen over time and lead to the eventual loss of the tooth. A dental professional can identify cracked teeth through visual inspection, taking an x-ray to detect cracks within roots, checking tenderness with a bite stick and checking habits such as grinding/clenching/covering cusps/removing food from affected area, etc.
Cracked teeth are most often found in molars, as these take the most force when chewing. Grinding, biting down on hard foods or ice, or bruxism are among the leading causes of cracked teeth, making regular dental visits essential to identify any problems and prevent cracked ones.
Cracked tooth symptoms often include discomfort when eating hot or cold liquids or foods, while as time progresses symptoms may include temperature sensitivity and pain when chewing or biting down. In extreme cases, cracked teeth can even split apart entirely leaving no hope of restoration.
Healthline states there are various treatments for cracked teeth depending on their location and severity, such as dental bonding which uses tooth-colored resin to repair minor cracks without causing discomfort.
Cracked cusps occur when part of the chewing surface breaks off of a tooth, typically around fillings. Although these cracks rarely affect pulp tissue and do not necessitate root canal treatment, it is still wise to have it capped or crowned as soon as possible in order to stop further worsening of cracks. An oblique crack extends below gum line and often affects molars; treating these can be more challenging; often root canal therapy does not solve them successfully.
Cracks in the Crown
Your crown, protected by enamel and dentin, houses nerves and blood vessels located within its pulp. A crack in your crown exposes these structures to increased pressure when you bite down, chew, or clench your teeth; this may result in pain, swelling or infection depending on its severity and location within your tooth. Treatment plans to restore it depend on these elements as well.
Cracked teeth can be difficult to detect. In many instances, they don’t appear visually, but are only discovered through symptoms like temperature sensitivity or pain when biting or chewing. While X-rays may show cracks, a visual examination must still take place in order to ascertain its extent and whether any treatments may be required; some cracks only involve enamel without dentin or pulp and therefore are considered treatable; your dentist may suggest fillings. In more serious instances a root canal procedure and/or crown may be required.
Cracked enamel that extends beyond its limits into dentin or pulp tissue cannot be treated effectively; often this type of fracture results from teeth grinding, clenching or chewing on ice habits that damage teeth. Your dentist may recommend either root canal therapy or tooth extraction depending on its severity.
Reduce your risk of cracked teeth with good oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist every six months for preventive care. When participating in contact sports or using nighttime bite guards if you grind your teeth at nighttime can also help protect against cracks in the enamel. If you suspect cracks have developed on one or more teeth, seek dental attention quickly so treatment doesn’t worsen before seeking help with an appointment – and contact us if experiencing pain or sensitivity!
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