One of the most common dental problems are cracked teeth, and due to advances in dentistry that allow you to keep your teeth longer, it is increasingly likely that you will experience a cracked tooth. Dr. Anastasios Photopoulos provides treatments for cracked teeth in San Jose, California, to help restore the appearance, health, and function of your tooth. We invite you to call us at 408-437-1111 to learn more about cracked teeth and schedule your consultation with our endodontist.
There are many reasons why teeth may crack, including biting on hard objects, trauma, and bruxism (teeth grinding). These behaviors place your teeth under additional strain, making them more susceptible to cracks. When your tooth enamel initially cracks, you may experience debilitating pain for a few moments, but you also may not feel any pain or discomfort when there is no pressure on the crack. As your tooth moves in regular biting and chewing motions, the crack will widen further to expose the inner portions of your tooth. This will also cause painful, intermittent irritation as the crack opens and closes.
Symptoms of cracked teeth include:
- Unexplained pain while eating
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
- Pain without an obvious cause
- Difficulty in pinpointing the source of the pain
There are many types of cracks, and the treatment provided to restore your tooth will depend on the type of crack you have experienced. Types of cracked teeth include:
- Crazes –tiny vertical cracks, usually appearing as scratches on the tooth surface. Treatment is usually recommended for cosmetic purposes only.
- Oblique supragingival cracks – this type of crack only affects the crown of the tooth, and has little or no pain associated with it. Crowns or fillings are common treatments.
- Oblique subgingival cracks – this crack extends beyond the gum line, often to the jawbone. Pieces that break off usually remain in place until removed by a dentist. These cracks are painful, and may require a combination of periodontal surgery and endodontic treatment.
- Vertical furcation cracks – these cracks are the result of the roots of the tooth separating. The nerves of the tooth are almost always affected. Root canal therapy and a dental crown are usually enough to save the tooth.
- Oblique root cracks – these cracks only affect the tooth below the gum line and below the jawbone. Depending on how close the fracture is to the tooth surface, root canal treatment may be possible but extraction is usually the only viable treatment option.
- Vertical apical root cracks – this crack occurs at the apex, or tip of the root. Though teeth with this type of crack do not require extraction, many patients request one because of the high levels of pain produced by this crack.
If you have further questions about cracked teeth and our available treatments, please contact our office to speak with our endodontist.