Did you know that tooth enamel (the outer surface of your teeth) is your body’s hardest and most highly mineralized substance? Tooth enamel is more robust than your bones. Although they are tough, a tooth can still crack or fracture, just like bones. Your endodontist in Las Vegas, Nevada, wants you to understand advice, diagnosis, or treatment of cracked teeth.
What Causes a Cracked/Broken Tooth?
There are many reasons a tooth might crack or break. These reasons are:
- Biting on hard foods like ice, hard candies, and nuts
- Jaw clenching or grinding
- Unevenly chewing
- Loss of tooth structure from wear
- Exposure to extreme temperature
- Brittleness of teeth following a root canal
How do I Know if I Cracked My Tooth?
Unfortunately, identifying a type of cracked tooth by yourself is pretty tricky. Often, hairline fractures may be nearly invisible to the human eye. At times, these tiny cracks cannot be seen on X-Rays. However, there are five significant warning signs of a cracked/broken tooth of which you should be aware:
- Tooth pain when biting or chewing. Pain is the best sign of a cracked tooth, although you might not always experience it. It may only happen when you eat or bite down a certain way.
- Waves of pain. When pain in your tooth comes and goes (tooth decay pain is constant). If you are not experiencing persistent pain, you likely have a cracked/broken tooth.
- Sensitivity. Pain when biting into hot foods or cold liquids. You may also experience sensitivity while eating sticky, sweet, or sour foods.
- Infection. A cracked tooth can easily lead to an infection along the gum line in the fracture area. This infection looks like a small bump on the gums near the tooth.
- No visible signs. With a cavity, a dark spot or small hole in the tooth can be spotted where the enamel has eroded. If you have tooth pain but cannot see any obvious signs, it may indicate a cracked tooth.
Endodontic Treatments for Cracked Tooth
Treatment for a cracked/broken tooth depends on the severity and location. The five common fractures are:
- Craze lines – the surface of the tooth
- Fractured cusp – pointy part of the chewing surface of a tooth
- Cracked tooth – runs vertical and typically extends into the gum line
- Split tooth – when the fractured segments can be separated into two parts
- Vertical root fracture – starts from the root of the tooth below the gum line and then travels up
Craze lines on the front of the tooth are standard and typically do not require any treatment. However, a fractured cusp may need a dental crown.
Approximately 20% of cracked adult teeth require a root canal treatment plan. In some severe cases, there is no hope of saving the tooth, which your dentist must extract altogether. If that is the case, your endodontist in Las Vegas replaces the tooth with a dental implant or a bridge.
Visit Your Endodontist in Las Vegas, NV
Early treatment is essential for a cracked or split tooth. If not treated immediately, a cracked tooth will worsen and may result in tooth loss. If you discover a broken tooth or are experiencing tooth pain, contact Delicate Dental, your endodontist in Las Vegas, today.
At our practice, you receive the finest endodontic care possible. We aim to provide unsurpassed quality in a compassionate environment and save your natural teeth. We strive to make your visit as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Please call your endodontist in Las Vegas, today.