Cracks can also be the result of years of clenching and grinding. Some cracked teeth can cause serious issues, like infection, and are often only discovered because of tooth pain (although not all cracks are painful). Not all cracks are the same, and there are actually several different types.
These cracks are tiny, and only affect the outer layer of your teeth. They do not extend into the dentin. Craze lines are extremely common in adults. They do not cause any pain, and don't require treatment, as they are the result of normal, everyday wear and tear.
When the cusp of one of your teeth becomes weak, it may, as a result, fracture. The broken part of the cusp may fall off, or it may need to be removed by your dentist. A fractured cusp does not usually damage the pulp of the tooth, so does not need a root canal (a root canal will be needed in the event that the pulp is damaged). Your tooth can be restored with a crown.
Cracked ToothA cracked tooth starts at the chewing surface and extends down vertically. Caught early enough, a crown is all that is needed. Left untreated, the crack can continue down past the gum line and cause damage to the pulp, in which case you would need a root canal to fix it.
Split ToothA split tooth usually happens because you had a cracked tooth that went untreated, and two separate segments have developed. Depending upon the extent of the damage, your dentist may be able to save only a single section of the tooth, never both. In most instances, a split tooth needs to be extracted.
Vertical Root FractureThis type of fracture usually occurs as a complication of endodontic treatment. It is characterized by a tiny fracture that extends the length of the root. For some, a vertical root fracture causes pain, while for others it does not, and can go unnoticed for a long time. It is possible to save a tooth with this type of fracture with endodontic surgery, although it more often requires extraction.
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, don't wait. Contact our office today.