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Cracked Teeth

  • Minuscule cracks however insignificant can develop on the surfaces of your teeth causing much damage.
  • General wear and tear of teeth enamel can expose teeth to a variety of different stresses leading to a condition called cracked teeth syndrome.
  • Cracked teeth usually occur in the region of the lower back teeth as these come under considerable pressure during chewing.
  • People who have one cracked tooth are more likely to have several cracked teeth or will develop more cracked teeth in the future.

Risk factors that increase the risk of having Cracked Teeth: 

  • People with bruxism (grinding of teeth) and those who clench their teeth are more likely to have cracked teeth.
  • Some people’s teeth do not meet together correctly and this puts more pressure on one or more of the teeth increasing the risk of having cracked teeth
  • Teeth that have been heavily filled are structurally weaker and are more likely to crack.

Symptoms of Cracked teeth:

  • Fleeting or intense pain when you bite or chew
  • Pain when eating certain foods, especially hot and cold. Biting impacts the already existing fractures though tiny, causing them to open up and allowing fluid to penetrate the tooth and bacteria to get into the tooth.
  • There is irritation of the pulp chamber which contains the nerves. Each time you bite down on the cracked tooth it moves slightly.
  • If there is delay in treatment, the pulp will become damaged and the tooth will need root canal therapy to remove the pulp and clean out the pulp chamber.

Accurately Diagnosing Cracked teeth is important: 

  • Our dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and use instruments to feel if there are any cracks in the affected teeth.
  • You might be asked to bite down on a dental device to see if it causes any pain in order to identify cracked teeth
  • Unfortunately small cracks don’t show up on a dental x-ray and so diagnosis can be sometimes difficult.

Different types of cracked teeth

Once a tooth is cracked it cannot heal. It is imperative that if this is discovered the tooth has to be treated if it is to be saved. Most cracked teeth however can be properly restored and can function normally.

There are different treatment plans for different types of cracked teeth. These include:

  • Fracture Cusps are when the raised points of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are fractured or broken off.

Treatment: This may involve having an onlay or if there is extensive damage It may be necessary to place a crown on the tooth especially if it is heavily filled.

  • Vertical fractures are those which start right at the root of the tooth up to the dental crown. This type of fracture can go unnoticed until the bone and the gum become infected.

Treatment: Extraction of the fractured tooth.

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  • Cracked tooth is when the crack extends from the crown towards the root of the tooth.

Treatment: Early treatment may save the tooth if it has root canal therapy and a dental crown can be used to strengthen the tooth. If the crack extends below the gum line, the tooth may have to be extracted.  

  • Split tooth is when the crack has separated the tooth into distinct segments.

Treatment: Extraction of the tooth is required.

Protecting your teeth from becoming cracked 

A dentist can make a night guard to protect your teeth against excessive pressure during clenching and grinding. This can prevent any fractures from becoming worse. If you clench or grind during the day, then the guard may need to be worn during the day.

It is important to detect what is causing your tooth to become cracked. New research shows that bruxism (tooth grinding during sleep) can be due to sleep disorder. Therefore evaluating a person’s sleep is important if they display signs of bruxism.

To get a proper diagnosis for your cracked teeth and treatment tailored to your needs – book a dentist appointment at the dental gallery Point Cook today.