Navigating Through  A Cracked Tooth: Beyond The Surface

Are you experiencing sudden, excruciating tooth pain? Do your teeth feel sensitive to hot and cold foods or drinks? What you notice may have an underlying cause to it. This may be due to a cracked tooth. 

Easton dentist and their team of specialists are skilled and experienced in handling dental emergencies like a cracked tooth. Let’s explore more about it. 

What is a cracked tooth? 

A cracked tooth is a common dental condition characterized by an abnormal split or fissure in your tooth. The crack can either be small and harmless or can be severe enough to separate the affected tooth.  Most often, the cracks are not visible and can only be detected through dental X-rays.

What might cause cracks in your tooth?  

You may suffer from a cracked tooth due to the following reasons:

  • Normal aging process
  • Bruxism (abnormal grinding or clenching of teeth)
  • Large restorations
  • Abrupt temperature changes
  • Chewing hard foods
  • Physical injury or trauma

What are the classical symptoms of a cracked tooth?

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

  • Unexplained, and persistent tooth pain, especially while chewing
  • Pain may sometimes be intermittent 
  • Swollen gums around the cracked tooth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity to sweetness
  • Difficulty pinpointing the exact location of the pain

Are there different types of tooth cracks?

There are several types of tooth cracks based on the nature of the crack. These include:

  • 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).

How do dentists manage a cracked tooth?

A cracked tooth is not always easy to diagnose and may require a magnifying glass and dental radiographs to examine the oral cavity. Based on the type of tooth cracks, your dentist may provide the following treatment options 

  • Home remedies
    • Rinse the mouth with warm water
    • Take painkillers to ease pain 
    • Use a cold compress to manage swelling
  • Dental treatment 
    • Repairing the crack through bonding using a plastic resin
    • Using a filling
    • Performing root canal treatment and restoring the tooth with a crown

However, if the crack is too severe, your dentist may eventually recommend tooth extraction. 

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