A complete guide to what Cracked Tooth is, Symptoms and treatment options

Your teeth are meant to last for an eternity, but they endure a lot of pressure over your lifespan that can cause damage. Like any other bone, your teeth can crack under pressure, but this isn’t always a reason for concern. The perimeter or surface of your tooth is made of enamels, one of the most rigid materials in your body.

This outer layer is made to withstand chewing, grinding, and other intense jaw movements. If you’re experiencing discomfort in your jaw when grinding and chewing food, you may have a tooth fracture. Failure to treat it may result in more severe tooth decay issues, cracked tooth and jaw pain leading to tooth extraction.

Therefore, it’s essential to consult a dentist as soon as possible if you suspect your tooth might be fractured. Doing this helps you avoid more undesirable issues by repairing the fractured tooth.
Here’s everything you need to know about treating cracked tooth, including cracked tooth symptoms to watch out for.

What Are The Types Of Cracked Teeth?

Before you learn how to fix a cracked tooth, you first need to know that it comes in many different forms. That way, you’ll be able to catch an easy fix. Tooth cracks can appear as:

Craze Lines Teeth

Craze lines teeth, also known as vertical crack in tooth, show up as tiny cracks and are often known as microfractures. You may never experience any noticeable cracked tooth symptoms when you have this type of crack, but you can often feel them with your tongue.

So, does a cracked tooth cause pain?

Craze lines teeth are common in adults. Although your dentist may examine the cracks, they don’t cause any pain and require no treatment.

Vertical crack in tooth cause teeth to stain more easily. That’s why they’re often more visible in people who drink red wine, coffee and tea or use tobacco products.

Fractured Cusp

A fractured cusp is one of the common fractured tooth symptoms. It shows up when the crown of your tooth extends beneath the gum and around the filling. A fractured Cusp can either be completed or incomplete.

Your tooth gook, which contains nerve fibres, blood vessels, and connective tissues, remains unaffected. However, with this type of tooth crack, your dentist will examine if you need any restorative treatment or not.

Tooth Cracks That Extend Beneath The Gum Line.
Tooth cracks that extend beneath the gum line may show fractured tooth symptoms. Any vertical tooth crack that extends through but hasn’t reached the gum line is savable. But if the crack extends beneath the gum line, there’s no viable cracked tooth treatment option apart from removing the tooth.

Split Tooth

Typically, split teeth do cause fractured tooth symptoms. They’re the most severe split level of the crack since they travel from the surface below the gum line.

A split tooth usually has two separate segments. Sometimes, it’s impossible to save the entire tooth with an extensive crack, but your dentist can try and save a portion of it.

In most cases, the dentist recommends removing the entire tooth and then discuss cracked tooth treatment or replacement options such as a dental implant or dental bridge.

Vertical tooth fracture

Vertical tooth fracture extends from beneath the gum line and travels upward to the tooth, despite having a fracture extending beneath the gum line.

Therefore, you may not experience any fractured tooth symptoms. However, infections may cause discomfort like frequent toothaches.

Your dentist may recommend taking antibiotics to combat any infection in the vertical crack in the tooth.

Chipped tooth

A chipped tooth is a type of tooth crack. A cracked front tooth often occurs when grinding or biting hard foods or tearing something tough with your teeth, like electric cables or metallic plates.

Signs of a cracked front tooth are small rough pieces of enamel in your mouth. Sometimes a crack in front tooth occurs naturally, and other times when you are holding or opening objects.

That said, how do dentists fix a cracked front tooth?

This majorly depends on how big the chipped area is. If the crack in front tooth is small, porcelain material is enough to seal the chipped area. If it’s enormous and bonding cannot be applied, your dentist might recommend veneers.

What Causes A Fractured Tooth Root

Unless you know the causes of your fractured or a cracked tooth, it might be pretty challenging to find an effective cracked tooth treatment option. Repetitive stress on your tooth can damage the tooth structure, resulting in a minor fracture. If left untreated, it slowly develops into a more prominent tooth fracture over time.

Most people over 50 years of age are affected by frequent tooth crack. However, adults can experience them at any age, depending on their lifestyle and habits. Some of the major causes of a fractured tooth include:

  • Excessive teeth clenching and grinding
  • Chewing harsh substances like candy
  • Injury or trauma caused by falls or motor accidents
  • Extreme thermal stress
  • Natural weakening of the tooth structure and aging
  • Large fillings weaken the tooth structure over time

Also, drinking water with excess fluorides frequently can discolor your tooth and cause it to wear, leading to tooth fracture.

What Are Some Of The Cracked Tooth Symptoms?

Generally, a cracked or fractured tooth won’t necessarily cause any cracked tooth symptoms. Most people often have split teeth without even realizing it. But if you notice the following cracked tooth symptoms, you may have an extensive type of fracture that needs dental treatment.

  • Severe pain when and after biting on posterior teeth
  • Gum swelling around the fractured tooth
  • Frequent pain on the affected tooth
  • Teeth sensitivity to the sweet, hot, and sweet substance especially drinks

Note that how painful is a cracked tooth depends on how severe the damage is on the tooth.

What Can You Do If You Have A Cracked Tooth?

What to do if you have a cracked tooth depends on the type of crack you have. For tiny craze lines, treatment isn’t a must. However, if you have fractured cusps, vertical tooth cracks, a split tooth crack, or a crack below the gum, you must schedule an appointment with your dentist to find the best way of treating cracked tooth.

Here are some of the most commonly used methods of treating cracked tooth.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns or fake teeth are caps that fit the decayed or weak teeth. Artificial teeth are either made of ceramic, metal, or composite resin.

If you have a severe tooth crack, it’s not a must you get it extracted. Dental crowns are the best-cracked tooth treatment option. Fake teeth hold together the cracked part of your tooth and fully restore the tooth’s natural functions and appearance.

In addition to this, bonding is the most famous treatment among most adults. It’s a painless mode of treating cracked tooth, and your dentist can get it thoroughly done with one dental clinic visit.

Root Canal Treatment

In some cases, a tooth crack can reach the dental pulp, and when it does, treatment is necessary. Endodontic treatment is a term often used by dentists to refer to root canal treatment.

Root canal treatment involves the treatment of infected and inflamed roots. If the root is unsavable due to a substantial infected area, your dentist will recommend extracting it.

Tooth Extraction

The dentist often recommends extracting any tooth suffering extreme trauma, injury, or decay. For example, your dentist may suggest removing the entire tooth and root if you develop a tooth crack beneath the gum line.

Also, if the tooth is unsavable due to a vertical crack in the tooth that extends beneath the gum, your dentist will remove it

How To Tell If You Have A Cracked Tooth

X-ray machines cannot reveal a tooth crack, and it’s unnecessary because people have different symptoms. Therefore, to diagnose if you have a cracked tooth, your dentist will do the following:

  • Ask your dental history questions like if you chew a lot or grind your teeth at night.
  • Create a visual examination using a magnifying lens to see tiny cracks.
  • Apply dental dry on your teeth to ensure cracks stand outdoors.
  • Probe your gum while looking for inflammation or vertical cracks.
  • X-ray your teeth to detect any pulp in bad shape.
  • Ask you to bite something to examine if you will experience any pain when biting and after.

After tooth crack diagnoses are complete, your dentist will advise what to do next, depending on the results.

What Are Some Of The Complications Of A Cracked Tooth?

Like any other health condition, the tooth also develops complications, especially if the infection begins spreading to the gum and bone. Some of the symptoms that you may have a dental infection include:

  • Fever
  • Pain when you bite or chew something
  • Awful breath in your mouth
  • Swollen gums
  • Tonsils or tender glands on the neck
  • Sensitivity to cold and hot substances

If you’re experiencing a dental infection, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to combat the bacteria.

What Are Treatment Options To Expect?

The American Association of Endodontists recommends that if you notice any signs of a cracked tooth and pain. You should immediately seek dental attention from a professional.

Treatment option includes:

  • Repairing a cracked tooth can be done by filing a fake tooth, depending on the damaged area.
  • An endodontic treatment procedure can treat the tooth.
  • Extraction of the tooth if the cracks extend upward from the gum line.

If you’re experiencing extensive pain before the appointment, you can relieve the pain by biting a clean moist piece of cloth. Don’t apply any topical oral medication aspirins or ointments over the affected area for relief.

Can A Crack Tooth Heal On Its Own?

Unlike the bone’s crack, a fractured tooth cannot heal independently since teeth enamel don’t have blood vessels. Therefore, you should visit a dentist immediately if you notice a crack. An untreated tooth can lead to tooth decay, sensitivity, and then ultimate loss.

Why Your Teeth Have Hairline Cracks

Adding stress to your teeth usually causes hairline cracks. If you consistently add more pressure on your teeth over time, tiny cracks will begin developing, also known as craze lines teeth.

Although hairline cracks may not be visible, you may notice them by the way they feel on your tongue. Additionally, most people who have hairline cracks on their teeth often experience sharp pain when they bite hard substances like ice and popcorn.

Can Hairline Cracks In A Tooth Heal?

Yes, the tooth can repair itself over time if the damage is minimal. For example, if you have a hairline crack on the outer level of the enamel that doesn’t cause pain, there is a chance it may repair itself.

The process of healing the hairline crack is known as remineralization, which refers to minerals in your mouth.

Keep in mind that hairline cracks in teeth are craze lines. They don’t develop into deep cracks, and in most cases, dentists consider them natural. But if you don’t maintain good dental hygiene, they may develop into cavities.

How Can You Remineralize Your Teeth?

Here are a few ways to remineralize your teeth:

  • Increase the amount of saliva production
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Use toothpaste meant for that job
  • Eat a remineralization diet
  • Stop drinking acid drinks like alcohol

It’d be best if you keep doing this regularly whether you have a dental crack or not.

Self-Care And Prevention

If you’re wondering how to fix cracked tooth syndrome, you’ll be glad to know that there are prevention methods to begin with. People with solid teeth are less likely to have their teeth snapped. To keep your teeth strong and healthy, you must maintain good dental hygiene.

Avoid chewing hard foods and grinding your teeth. Ensure you wear a mouthguard whenever you are playing sports and at night to avoid grinding your teeth.

If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, ensure you brush and rinse your mouth with warm water. Then, use cold water to compress the outside of your cheek to prevent it from swelling.

Use over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and pain. Ensure you make an appointment with your dentist immediately since delaying puts your tooth at risk of decay and extraction.

How Much Does It Cost To Treat A Cracked Tooth?

The cost of treating a cracked tooth depends on how large the crack is and the geographic location you live in the country. Dental fees tend to vary from one metropolitan area to another.

Here’s a summary of what to expect to pay in general:

  • $150- $1800 for bonding depending on the complexity
  • $1200-$2000 per fake tooth, depending on the material used to make it
  • $1000- $3000 for root canal treatment depending on the location of your tooth
  • $100- $300 for tooth extraction

Seek Medical Assistance from the Professionals

Early and frequent dental checkups are necessary for saving a compromised tooth. However, in most cases, cracks aren’t clinically visible, and most of them are diagnosed through symptoms. During your regular checkups, tell your dentist if you feel any symptoms like sharp pain or sensitivity when eating or chewing something.

Are you suspecting you may have tooth crack, or you’ve been experiencing tooth crack symptoms? Visit Victory Plaza Dental Care in North Hollywood today, and get the best cracked tooth treatment from a professional.