What is a cracked tooth and what causes it?

A cracked tooth displays a range of symptoms including pain when chewing (whether applying or releasing biting pressure) or sensitivity to temperature (either hot or cold). It is also quite common at the start of your symptoms for the pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort. Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth and the nerve inside the tooth then becomes irritated. At the same time when biting pressure is released the crack can close quickly resulting in sharp pain. Eventually the nerve becomes damaged and the tooth will constantly cause pain. By that time the tooth cracks can allow the nerve tissue to become infected and the infection can then spread to the base of the gum surrounding the cracked tooth.

A crack tooth could be a result of normal wear and tear over many years, grinding/clinching of teeth, large filling in a tooth which weakens its natural structure or constantly biting hard food [ such as hard candy, ice, bones]

Different types of tooth cracks:

  1. Craze line: These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer layer of the tooth which is its enamel. These cracks are more common in adults are superficial and usually of no concern.
  2. Treatable Cracked tooth: This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertically migrates down toward the root of the tooth without involving the root of the tooth. This type of crack can be treated either with a full Crown or combination of the Root Canal Treatment and Crown. An untreated cracked tooth will worsen over time, resulting in the loss of the tooth, therefore early detection and treatment is essential.
  3. Split tooth, a vertical root fracture/crack: This type of split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. BY this time the tooth is beyond being saved and to avoid serious infection extraction of the tooth is the only treatment.

Please contact us on 9670 9020 if you are concerned about any of your teeth being cracked.

Warning: As well as benefits there are risks involved with any surgical or invasive procedures. You may chose to seek an opinion from another appropriately qualified person before proceeding.