Your teeth are some of the strongest components of your body. Despite your teeth being incredibly strong and resilient due to their nature, this does not mean that it is impossible to damage them. Teeth can become chipped, broken or cracked under a variety of circumstances.
Cracked tooth symptoms
Some common symptoms of cracked teeth include:
- Pain when chewing or biting, especially when you release the bite
- sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness
- pain that is fleeting, but rarely continuous
- Gum swelling around the affected tooth
Types of cracked teeth
Cracked teeth can present themselves in a variety of ways.
Craze lines: These are tiny cracks in the enamel of teeth. These do not cause any discomfort and do not require treatment.
Fractured cusp: This type of crack usually occurs around a dental filling. Seldom do these types of cracks affect the pulp of the tooth, and as a result, they do not cause much pain.
Cracks that extend into the gum line: A tooth that has a vertical crack that extends through it but hasn’t yet reached the gum line can generally be salvaged. However, if the crack extends into the gum line, your tooth may need to be extracted. It is important to remember that the sooner your tooth is treated, the better the chance there will be of saving your tooth.
Split tooth: This is a crack that goes along the surface of the tooth and extends below the gum line. With such an extensive crack, it’s unlikely the entire tooth can be saved; however, your dentist may be able to save a portion of it.
Vertical root fracture: This type of crack begins below the gum line and travels upward. Few symptoms are associated with this type of crack unless it becomes infected. There is a strong chance that this type of tooth will need to be extracted.
Causes of cracked teeth
Your teeth can become cracked due to a variety of causes. Anything that produces excessive pressure on your teeth can crack them. For instance, those who grind their teeth in their sleep are particularly susceptible to cracked teeth. This is also true for those who chew on ice, use their teeth to open packaging or enjoy biting into hard candies.
If you have any fillings that are particularly large, these may compromise the integrity of your tooth which can result in cracks in your tooth.
Cracks can also occur due to injury and accidents as well as due to old age. In fact, most cracks occur in people who are over the age of 50.
Extreme temperatures can also be the cause of cracked teeth. For instance, if you have consumed a food or beverage that is particularly hot and followed this by a cold beverage in an attempt to cool down your mouth, you may experience a cracked tooth as a result.
If you have noticed a crack in your tooth, contact us to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. Early treatment is often key to saving your tooth.