What Can Be Done for Cracks in Teeth?

Cracks in teeth are a common dental problem that can be caused by a number of factors, including biting down on hard foods, grinding or clenching the teeth, or trauma to the mouth. While some cracks may be minor and require no treatment, others can cause pain, sensitivity, and even infection if left untreated. Here’s what you need to know about treating cracks in teeth.

Types of Cracks in Teeth

Not all cracks in teeth are the same, and the severity of the crack will determine the appropriate treatment. Here are the different types of cracks in teeth:

  1. Craze lines: These are small cracks that affect only the outer layer of the tooth and usually do not require treatment.
  2. Fractured cusp: This occurs when a piece of the tooth’s chewing surface breaks off. This type of crack typically does not affect the pulp and may require a dental filling or crown.
  3. Cracked tooth: This occurs when a crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth down towards the root. This type of crack may require a root canal and a crown.
  4. Split tooth: This occurs when the tooth splits into two distinct segments. This type of crack usually requires extraction of the tooth.
  5. Vertical root fracture: This occurs when a crack starts at the root of the tooth and extends towards the chewing surface. This type of crack typically requires extraction of the tooth.

Treatment Options

The treatment for a cracked tooth will depend on the type and severity of the crack. Here are the treatment options for each type of crack:

Craze lines

These do not require treatment but can be polished or filled to improve the appearance of the tooth.

Fractured cusp

A dental filling (composite fillings) or crown may be required to restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

Cracked tooth

A root canal may be necessary to remove the damaged pulp, followed by a dental crown  to restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

Split tooth

Extraction of the tooth is usually necessary, but in some cases, the tooth may be saved with endodontic treatment and a crown.

Vertical root fracture

Extraction of the tooth is necessary.

Preventing Cracks in Teeth

While not all cracks can be prevented, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing a cracked tooth:

  1. Wear a mouthguard if you grind or clench your teeth.
  2. Avoid biting down on hard objects like ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy.
  3. Practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly and visiting the dentist for regular checkups.
  4. Avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles.

We can help you

Cracks in teeth can be a painful and uncomfortable dental problem, but with the right treatment, they can be resolved. If you are experiencing any symptoms of a cracked tooth, such as pain, sensitivity, or swelling, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. By taking steps to prevent cracks in teeth and seeking prompt treatment when necessary, you can protect your oral health and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.