Cracked teeth are extremely common and may result from an injury, a large filling, persistent grinding (bruxism), chewing hard foods, and normal prolonged wear. Several types of cracks exist, some that cause aches and pain and others that have no noticeable symptoms. A cracked tooth can lead to an infection and the need for root canal therapy if it extends into the tooth’s root or reaches the pulp.
Symptoms of cracked teeth include:
- Sharp pain when biting
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Sensitivity to sugary foods
- Persistent toothache
At The Endodontic Group, we work with general dentists to treat cracked, split, and fractured teeth.
Cracked Tooth: This type of crack begins at the chewing surface and extends vertically, toward the root. If the crack penetrates the interior of the tooth, the pulp can become damaged and require root canal therapy. Left untreated, the cracked tooth will worsen and can result in the need for an extraction.
Split Tooth: A split tooth can result when a cracked tooth goes untreated. The split divides the tooth into distinct segments, making it difficult to save the entire tooth. Your dentist will determine whether a portion of the tooth can be saved and whether root canal therapy is necessary to remove infection.
Vertical Root Fracture: This kind of fracture begins at the root and climbs toward the chewing surface. Because few symptoms manifest, the fracture can often go unnoticed. Endodontic surgery can sometimes remove the fractured root and save the tooth. In other cases, the tooth will require extraction.
Other types of tooth cracks include:
- Craze lines (superficial and typically not of concern)
- Fractured cusp (generally treated with a crown)