Do you feel pain when you bite on something hard? Is your tooth sensitive to temperature change? You might be dealing with cracked teeth, which you often can’t see with the naked eye.
How do Chips and Cracks Occur?
Tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in your body, but it has its limits. Excessive force from biting hard items, bruxism, or a blow to the face can cause your teeth to chip or crack. Poor hygiene and cavities can also weaken your teeth, making them more susceptible to chips and cracks. You may not even feel pain unless the crack is large enough to expose the inner layer of your tooth.
Types of Cracks
These tiny cracks only occur in the outer layer of your enamel, making them shallow and painless. They’re a common occurrence among adult patients. While craze lines may be aesthetically displeasing, they are not dangerous and do not require treatment.
The cusp is the chewing surface of the tooth and can become weakened and fracture, either breaking off on its own or requiring removal from a dental professional. Fractured cusps rarely damage the pulp of your tooth, so root canal treatment is usually unnecessary. We may recommend a crown to restore the tooth.
A split tooth happens when a crack is left to progress and eventually splits into two parts. Depending on the position and extent of the crack, we can determine whether part of the tooth can be saved with a crown or another restorative procedure.
Vertical Root Fractures
These cracks begin in the root of a tooth and are one of the most difficult to identify. Because the fracture line may not be visible, our doctors must pay special attention to your symptoms to determine if you have one. Vertical root fractures are often fixed through endodontic treatment, but the tooth must be removed in many cases.
How To Prevent Cracked or Chipped Teeth
Here are a few ideas we suggest to prevent unnecessary damage from a crack:
- Don’t chew on hard objects
- Don’t use your teeth as tools
- Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports
- Consider a nightguard if you have bruxism
Do You Think You Might Have Cracked Teeth in Concord, NC?
Our team is here to help! If you would like a closer examination of your teeth, give us a call to schedule a consultation.