Many types of symptoms indicate that you have cracked teeth, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even pain upon release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to come and go, what makes it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.
When chewing the cracked pieces of your tooth can move, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, sharp pain may result when biting pressure is released and if the crack closes quickly. Eventually, even when you are not chewing, the pulp will become damaged and the tooth will consistently hurt. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth.
Types of Cracks
Tiny cracks only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern. They are more common in adults.
A fracture may result when a cusp becomes weakened. The cusp may either break off or be removed by your dentist. In the case of a fractured cusp the pulp is rarely damaged, so root canal is not necessary. Usually, your dentist will restore the tooth with a full crown.
This type of crack starts from the chewing surface of the tooth and extends vertically to migrate towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line. Also it is possible for the crack to extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. Root canal treatment is usually necessary in this case. Not treating a cracked tooth will make it worth thus resulting in the loss of the tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.
An untreated cracked tooth results in a split tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. This type of tooth can never be saved intact. Yet, saving any portion of the tooth will depend on the position and extent of the problem. Sometimes, endodontic retreatment by the doctors and restoration by your dentist 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 the tooth. This type of fracture, unfortunately, shows minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. If a portion of the tooth can be saved, the treatment will involve endodontic surgery by removal of the fractured root. If not then the tooth will have to be extracted.