Roots Endodontics, PLC, Brighton, Livingston County, Michigan – Dr. Mayank Vora, DDS

Cracked Teeth


How do you know if you have a cracked tooth?

Cracked teeth can exhibit a variety of symptoms, including pain when chewing, possibly with release of biting pressure, or pain when your tooth is exposed to temperature extremes. In many cases, the pain may come and go. Cracks (or fractures) may be invisible to the naked eye and many may not even show on radiographs. In some cases there may be no pain or sensitivity at all and the crack may be discovered by your dentist during your exam. There can be many reasons for cracks such as:

  • Chewing on hard objects like ice, nuts or hard candy
  • Trauma from accidents
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism)
  • Undue pressures from chewing due to bite or nearby lost/missing teeth
  • Large fillings causing loss of tooth structure

The treatment and outcome for your tooth depends on the type, location and extent of the crack. If you think you have a cracked tooth, it’s important to seek treatment quickly, before the problem gets worse. Once treated, most cracked teeth continue to function and provide years of comfortable chewing. Small superficial cracks can be treated by repairing the tooth with a filling material. Sometimes placing a crown can protect the tooth from further damage. Root canal therapy is indicated if the pulp (“nerve”) of the tooth is irreversibly inflamed or infected. In severe cases, such as root fracture, extraction of the tooth may be the only predictable option.

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