Cracked teeth is a common condition and one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Any tooth or part of a tooth can be cracked. The crack may or may not be visible.
Types of cracked teeth are:
- Craze lines: super small cracks in the enamel of teeth which usually causes no pain and treatment.
- Split tooth: tooth with a crack that extends to below the gum line.
- Fractured cusp: it occurs around a dental filling.
- Cracks that extend into gum line
- Vertical root fracture
Many factors can lead to crack in teeth. They include:
- Pressure from teeth grinding
- Large fillings
- Chewing or biting hard foods
- Physical injury
- Sudden temperature changes in the mouth
Symptoms of cracked teeth that may occur and which require treatment include:
- Pain while biting, chewing or eating
- Gum swelling around infected tooth
- Random pain in the affected tooth
- Severe pain before or after biting down
- Discomfort around teeth and gums
- Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet substances
Diagnosis of cracked teeth involves:
- Dental examination
- Dental history
- Review of symptoms
- Dental dye
- Dental X-ray
Preventive measures for cracked teeth include:
- Avoid foods that are hard to chew.
- Avoid teeth clenching.
- Avoid teeth grinding.
- Wear a mouthguard while playing sports.
Treatment for cracked teeth depends on the location and extent of damage. Tiny cracks which do not exhibit any symptoms or cause no discomfort may not require any treatment.
Treatment measures include:
- Bonding: a process of repairing the crack with plastic resin.
- Crown: a cap that entirely covers the cracked tooth.
- Root canal: if crack has penetrated to the pulp of the tooth, root canal may be recommended. The pulp is removed and inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
- Tooth extractions: tooth might be removed if it is badly cracked.
- Gluing on the broken part of the tooth may also be recommended.
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