Everything You Need To Know About Having A Cracked Tooth

January 27, 2022

At James A. Penney, III, DDS, PA, Endodontics we are in the business of saving teeth. Many teeth are in jeopardy due to cracks. Cracks can be caused by trauma or because the enamel has been weakened over the years.

When you get a toothache, see your dentist right away. The sooner the crack is identified the better the chance is of saving your tooth. It will also prevent you from going through the pain of the crack in your tooth as it gets worse.

There are different kinds of cracked teeth. Here are a few that require dental care.

  • When a tooth has a fractured cusp. The cusp of your tooth can become brittle and break off. This kind of crack usually does not reach the pulp of the tooth. Your dentist can repair the enamel.
  • A tooth can be split. A tooth split is what it sounds like. The breakage has affected the whole tooth. This type of crack usually occurs when a patient does not care for an initial crack. It is unlikely that the tooth will be saved once the crack has reached a split.
  • When a crack in the tooth is treatable. This crack starts at the chewing surface and makes its way down into the root of the tooth. It is likely that this crack will damage pulp and require a root canal. If treated within a certain amount of time, the tooth can be saved.
  • A vertical root fracture is where things get interesting. The crack starts at the opposite end of your tooth at the root inside the gum and extends upwards. Due to its nature of being hidden, vertical root fractures often go unnoticed. They can be treated with a root canal. But if they go unnoticed and become too severe, the whole tooth may not be saved.

What does a cracked tooth feel like?

It is not always easy to determine the cause of a toothache. However, cracks have a unique effect on the pulp of your tooth that make them more distinguishable. A cracked tooth will cause pain when you release your bite.

Chewing will move the cracked tooth around. The pain you feel when you release your jaw is from the crack closing again, irritating the pulp within your tooth.

Cracked teeth are also sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

Like any toothache the pain may come and go at unexpected times. Don’t ignore it. Schedule a visit to your dentist, or stop by our office and see how we can help.