How Can You Tell if a Tooth is Cracked?
Diagnosing cracked teeth can be very difficult. You may not be able to tell which tooth hurts or whether the pain is from an upper tooth or lower tooth. A crack may appear as a hairline fracture, running vertically along the tooth. Cracked teeth are often invisible to the eye and rarely show up on an X-ray.
You can help our staff determine which tooth is causing the problem by noting when and where you have sensitivity to heat or cold, to sweet, sour or sticky food and approximately where the pain is when you are chewing.
What Causes a Tooth to Crack?
A tooth may crack due to :
- Chewing on hard objects or foods such as ice, nuts, or hard candy
- An accident, such as a blow to the mouth
- Grinding and clenching your teeth
- Uneven chewing pressure
- Stress on a tooth
- Loss of a portion of tooth structure through wear, large fillings, or other restorations
- Exposure of tooth enamel to temperature extremes (Hot food/Ice water)
- Brittleness of teeth with root canal treatment
How is a Cracked Tooth Treated?
Depending on the size and location of the crack in the tooth, treatment may vary from a simple composite bonding procedure, to the need for a crown to hold the crack together. Endodontic treatment (Root canal treatment) may also be needed if the pulp of the tooth is involved. A severely cracked tooth may need extraction if the tooth cannot be saved. Our staff at Williamsburg Dental and Williamsburg Village Dental will do everything we can to assist you in making the best decision for treatment.
Treatment of a cracked tooth is not always successful. In some people, a crown will fix the problem. In others, root canal treatment solves the problem. Some people continue to have occasional symptoms after treatment. They may need to have the tooth taken out.