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Health

Cracked Tooth: Recognizing the Signs and Seeking Solutions

Are you experiencing sharp shooting tooth pain? Do you feel increased sensitivity to cold and hot foods?  You may be suffering from a cracked tooth! It is essential to identify the signs and treat the tooth at the earliest to prevent any unwanted complications.

Get your teeth evaluated at the dental clinic in San Jose if you experience pain or discomfort in your tooth during mastication. Keep reading to know everything about cracked teeth.

A cracked or fractured tooth is a condition characterized by the presence of a fissure in your tooth. The crack can either be small and harmless or can be severe enough to split the affected tooth.

Causes:

  • Normal aging process
  • Bruxism (grinding of teeth)
  • Large restorations
  • Abrupt temperature changes
  • Chewing hard foods

Symptoms: 

A cracked tooth can be associated with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Visible crack or craze on the tooth surface
  • Unexplained persistent pain while chewing
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity to sweetness
  • Difficulty pinpointing the exact location of the pain
  • Swelling around the tooth

Types of cracked teeth:

Different types of cracks include:

  • Craze: It is a vertical fissure that is often considered to be a regular part of the tooth anatomy.
  • Oblique supragingival crack: It affects only the tooth crown and is present above the gum line (supragingival).
  • Oblique subgingival crack: It may extend beyond the gum line (subgingivally) to a point where the jawbone begins.
  • Vertical furcation crack: It occurs when the roots of the tooth are involved, affecting the nerves.
  • Oblique root crack: This does not involve the tooth crown but is apparent only below the gum line and the jawbone.
  • Vertical apical root crack: It appears at the root tip (apex of the root).

Treatment: 

A cracked tooth can be easily diagnosed during an oral examination and dental X-rays. Treatment usually depends on the severity of the condition and the type of crack present. 

  • Root canal therapy is the most viable treatment option for most cases of cracked teeth. It involves the removal of the tooth pulp and restoring it with a biocompatible material (gutta-percha). Finally, the tooth will be stabilized and restored permanently with a crown. This aids in the restoration of the normal oral form, function, and aesthetics. 

However, if the crack is too severe, your dentist will eventually recommend extraction. You can eventually replace the missing tooth either through dentures, bridges, or a dental implant.

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