Every day your teeth are clenching, grinding, and chewing, behaviors which over time make your teeth vulnerable to cracks. With all the great general and restorative dentistry procedures available today, dentists are assisting their patients with keeping their natural teeth for longer than ever before! But over time, different types of cracks can cause pain in your teeth. Common symptoms of cracked teeth include pain while chewing, sensitivity to temperature changes, and the release of biting pressure. In most cases, pain and symptoms are sporadic and do not cause chronic discomfort.
There are five different types of cracks that can be treated by the Nanuet endodontists at Rockland Endodontics, including craze lines, fractured cusp, cracked tooth, split tooth and vertical root fracture. Craze lines are the most common type of crack, which affects only the outer enamel. Beyond causing a change in tooth appearance, these cracks are shallow and do not cause pain. A fractured cusp occurs when the chewing surface of the tooth becomes weakened and as a result may break off. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp so root canal treatment is not needed and the tooth is protected and strengthened by the placement of a dental crown.
The last three types of cracks are more serious and require immediate treatment by the Nanuet root canal specialists at Rockland Endodontics. Cracked tooth is a crack that extends beyond the surface of the tooth towards the root. Because the positioning of this crack, damage to the pulp is common, in which case root canal therapy is necessary to treat the injured pulp. However, if the crack extends below the gingival tissue line, the tooth will need to be extracted as it is beyond saving. A split tooth is a more advanced stage of a cracked tooth, with the tooth being separated into two distinct segments. In most cases, a split tooth cannot be saved. A vertical root fracture is a crack that begins in the root of the tooth and extends upward toward the chewing surface. Because they often show few symptoms, they may go unnoticed until the surrounding bone and gum become infected. In many cases, endodontic surgery at Rockland Endodontics can save the tooth from extraction.
To learn more about why and how we get cracks in our teeth, visit Rockland Endodontics to speak with our root canal specialists regarding the health and strength of your natural teeth as you age.