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Cracked Tooth: Symptoms and Types of Cracks in the Teeth

Hudson Oaks
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry provides a full selection of dental services for patients in Hudson Oaks, Weatherford, Willow Park and the surrounding Parker County areas. We deliver services in a comfortable environment geared to relax and calm patients so that they have the best dental experience available. 
BY Hudsonoaks

The outer surface of a tooth, or commonly known as tooth enamel is the hardest and highly mineralized substance in the body, which plays a vital role in protecting the inner layers of the teeth against attacks from acids or plaque. However, no matter how strong tooth enamel may be, it is still possible for them to crack or fracture from a fall, a blow to the face, or other types of stress and trauma.

Cracked teeth can either be a minor or severe problem. It can be a result of chewing hard foods, teeth grinding, and may even occur naturally as people age. This condition is not uncommon and may also lead to tooth loss if left neglected.

What are the symptoms of a cracked tooth?

Not all cracked teeth will necessarily present any symptoms. People often have cracked without them being aware that they already have one. There are some types of cracks that do not require treatment since they are minor and are harmless. However, a crack can be way more extensive and will need proper dental treatment when the following symptoms are experienced:

  • Swollen gums around the cracked teeth
  • Sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness
  • Pain when eating, particularly when chewing or biting
  • Pain that tends to come and go
  • Discomfort around the teeth and gums that is hard to determine

What are the types of cracked teeth?

Craze lines. They are tiny cracks that affect only the tooth’s enamel. This condition is usually common in adults and is not painful, which means that they do not necessarily require any treatment.

Fractured cusp. This type of crack generally occurs on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, often around a filling. A fractured cusp rarely damages the tooth’s pulp and usually does not cause much pain.

Cracks that extend into the gum line. A tooth that has cracked vertically but has not yet reached the gum line can still be repaired. Unfortunately, when the crack has extended into the gum line, it is no longer treatable and may need to be extracted. That is why diagnosing and treating this condition as early as possible is essential to prevent losing a tooth.

Split tooth. This refers to the crack that has extended from the chewing surface all the way to the tooth’s roots that can be separated into two segments. With this damage, the tooth cannot be entirely saved, but the dentist may be able to save a portion of it.

Vertical root fracture. This refers to the cracks that begin in the tooth’s roots and extend toward the chewing surface. Vertical root fracture does not often present any symptoms unless the tooth has become infected. Once the cracked tooth has become infected, it may be subjected to extraction.

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