­­The Episode of Cracked Teeth

Cracked tooth is perhaps the last thing that people would like to encounter. That is quite understandable as this leads to some serious consequences and painful moments.

Coming to the episode of cracked tooth, they can be of different types. Depending upon the types, cracked tooth come up with a wide range of symptoms. They include erratic pain while chewing, more so when the biting pressure is released. Also, pain is felt when the cracked tooth is exposed to temperature extremes – both hot or cold or both. There are instances, when pain is felt only at times. When this happens even the local dentist fails to locate the tooth that is the source of the pain.

Hence, it is advisable that whenever anyone feels pain or suspect a cracked tooth, consult an emergency dentist immediately. To be more specific, it is advisable to contact an endodontist, or the one who have specialized in treating and restoring cracked teeth.

The treatment of a cracked teeth and the outcome of the same depends upon the type of the crack, location of the affected tooth, and the gravity of the situation. Once properly treated, the cracked teeth can continue to function just like a normal and healthy tooth.

cracked tooth

Why a cracked tooth pains?

In order to understand why a cracked or broken tooth hurts, it is imperative to understand its anatomy or structure. The tooth comprises of three layers. From outside to inside, they are the enamel, the dentin and the pulp. The pulp is the innermost soft tissue, containing the blood vessels and innumerable nerves.

If and when the outermost layer cracks, chewing results in movement and misplacement of tiny bits of that outer layer. This exposes the pulp and it starts getting irritated. Then subsequently, dentin gets damaged to expose the pulp and eventually, the pulp gets damaged to such an extent that it cannot heal itself up.

As a result of this, the tooth not only gets hurt while chewing, but it also becomes highly sensitive to temperature extremes. With the passage of time, as and when the cracks start opening up the affected tooth starts to hurt all b y itself, irrespective of the fact whether or not it is chewing. Extensive cracks lead to infection in the pulp, which subsequently spreads to the adjoining gum region and the bone, leading to an extremely painful mess.

The treatment

The nature of treatment depends upon the type of crack the teeth develops.

Craze Lines

These lines are actually tiny cracks that run through the outer layer or enamel. These cracks frequently appear on tooth of adults and are generally shallow and harmless. The do not result in any pain, and are of no great concern except for the fact that they make the tooth a bit shabby. They do not demand intervention of an orthodontist.

Fractured Cusp

This is a comparatively graver situation, which surfaces up when a bit of the chewing surface of a tooth breaks off even around a filling. However, this type of an injury normally does not affect the pulp of the teeth, and hence generally does not cause much of pain. A walk in dentist can very much install a new filling or a crown on the top of the damaged tooth and provide a protective shield against further wear and tear.

In case the tooth is cracked, breathing through mouth drinking cold water or other fluids, fluids with high sugar substances can be painful. The best way to get rid of the pain is biting on a clean, moistened gauze till an emergency treatment is available. It is advisable not to use any topical oral pan killing drugs or ointments. Also, placing Aspirin on the affected area is a strict NO-NO.

When we talk about cracked tooth, it means the crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth virtually down to the root. As a result of this, the tooth may not be separated into two pieces all right initially, but it may happen so, as the crack keeps on widening and spreading. In these cases, it is essential to take immediate advice of the family dentistry as early treatment is needed stop further damage and save the teeth in question.

In case the crack has extended up to the pulp, the best procedure of treatment is root canal treatment, following which, a crown or a protective cap is installed on the top of the teeth to prevent the crack from spreading further. This is known as crown treatment.

However, in case the crack has extended beyond the gum line, the teeth in question cannot be treated anymore. It’s impossible to salvage the tooth and has to be extracted. This is the reason it is highly advisable that as soon as cracks are noticed, immediate treatment is an absolute imperative without any delay whatsoever. The earlier the tooth is subjected to treatment the more is the chance to save and retain it.

cracked and broken teeth

Split Tooth

Now let us discuss the issue of split tooth. A split tooth generally is the ultimate result of a cracked tooth, wherein the crack has spread out and has extended to ultimately split the tooth into two halves. A split tooth is easily identified by a distinctive crack, which contains easily noticeable distinctive segments. Once a tooth is split, it is impossible to save it intact. The extent of the crack and its position determine if it is possible to save at least a part of the tooth. In that case, an endodontic treatment is conducted to save that part of the tooth.

Vertical Root Fracture

This is a particular type of crack that originates from the root and extends till the chewing surface of the root. The peculiarity of this type of fractures is that they often show minimal signs or symptoms of tooth fracture during the early stages. Hence, they go unnoticed and untreated during this phase and it comes to the limelight once the situation has spiraled out of the hand. In most of the cases they are detected only when the surrounding bone and the gum have become severely infected, leaving no option for the weekend dentist except extract it, resulting in a lost tooth.

Ways to prevent cracked tooth

Cracked tooth is prevented by maintaining good oral habits like avoiding chewing on to hard food like bones, unpopped popcorns, pens and the likes, avoiding clenching or grinding teeth and the likes.