Do you have Cracked teeth?
A cracked tooth or fractured tooth is a break or crack on the hard shell of the tooth. The outer shell of the tooth is called enamel. It protects the softer inner pulp of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels.
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Cracked tooth may or may not cause problems. This depends upon the severity of the fracture.
TYPES OF FRACTURES
Craze lines: Shallow fracture lines in the grooves. This does not cause any pain and no treatment is required.
Fractured cusp: Fracture on the chewing surface of the teeth.
Split tooth: Cracks down through the root separating the section of the tooth.
Vertical root fracture: Crack begins in the root and moves up towards the chewing surface.
WHAT LEADS TO CRACKED TOOTH?
Chewing on hard food, biting on hard objects, and sudden blow on the face as in car accidents and injuries due to various sporting activities could lead to cracked tooth.
SYMPTOMS OF CRACKED TOOTH
Not all fractures cause pain. For example, craze lines rarely cause problems.
Some fractures may expose the sensitive pulp to food, fluid and bacteria in the mouth which can cause irritation or infection to the pulp leading to
A fracture may not be seen with naked eyes. Your dentist will ask you about your symptoms.
o When do you notice pain?
o Do you notice pain while biting on hard substance?
To locate the fracture your dentist may do following tests:
- Bite Test: you will be asked to bite on a stick to locate fractured tooth.
- Transillumination: passing a light through the tooth to see the crack line.
- Dye Staining: a solution is put on the tooth to help track the crack.
- X-rays: to look for the extent of fracture line. Though minute crack lines cannot be appreciated on the X-rays.
TREATMENT OF CRACKED TOOTH
Treatment depends upon the severity of damage to the tooth. Various treatment options are:
- Crown : a cap is placed on the tooth .
- Dental Veneer: If there is small chip in the tooth thin covering can be placed.
- Root canal: Severe damage to the pulp can be corrected by root canal Treatments.
- Extraction: Tooth might be extracted if the fracture line extends below the gum line.
PREVENTION OF CRACKED TOOTH
- Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, candy etc.
- Beware of temperature extremes between food and drinks.
- Wear mouth guard for recreational activities
- Do not use your teeth to open bottles or cut plastics.
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