What Happens If I Have a Cracked Tooth?

Brunette young woman cringes in pain and touches her cheek due to a severely cracked and aching tooth

Did you know that the enamel of your teeth is the hardest substance in your body? It’s even harder than bone. Unfortunately, your teeth can still crack, so it’s important to know how it can happen and what you should do if it occurs!

How Does a Cracked Tooth Happen?

There are a variety of ways you can get a cracked tooth. Some of the most common ways are:

  • Pressure from clenching and grinding teeth
  • Fillings that weaken the integrity of the tooth
  • Chewing on hard foods, like ice and hard candy
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures
  • A physical blow to the mouth while not wearing a mouthguard
  • Tooth decay
  • Aging

What Are the Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth?

One of the most common symptoms of a cracked tooth is pain. This is because the inner layer, called the pulp, contains the tooth’s nerves. The damage to the cracked tooth irritates the pulp. Here are some things to look out for if you think you may have a cracked tooth:

  • Severe or throbbing tooth pain when you eat or bite down
  • Tooth sensitivity or discomfort when eating hot, cold, or sweet foods
  • Tooth pain that comes and goes

What Is the Treatment for a Cracked Tooth?

Treatment depends on how the tooth was cracked and the severity of it. There are many different types of cracked teeth. Here are just some of the ways the tooth may be cracked and how it will most likely need to be treated:

  1. Craze Line
  2. These are known as minor cracks. Craze lines only affect the outer layer of the tooth, called the enamel. Craze lines rarely cause pain, but our expert team will decide if you need it repaired in order to prevent bacteria from getting inside your tooth.

  3. Cracked Cusp
  4. These cracks occur on the pointed chewing surfaces, known as the cusps, of the teeth. A lot of the time this happens around a large filling. It doesn’t usually affect the pulp of the tooth so there isn’t much pain. But you will need to repair the damage and have it covered with a crown.

  5. Split Tooth
  6. This is a more serious type of crack. The crack travels from the surface of the tooth to below the gum line causing the tooth to become two separate parts. You will need root canal therapy and a crown to protect the root. In some cases, the tooth cannot be saved and will need to be removed.

We Can Restore Your Smile to Full Health!

If you think that you may be suffering from a cracked tooth, contact our Farmington Dental and Orthodontics team as soon as possible. We’ll get you into our office right away and get you back to enjoying a healthy, pain-free smile.

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