What are the Causes and Symptoms of Cracked Teeth

Teeth are exceptionally strong, but they are not indestructible. There are a number of different ways teeth can become damaged, such as cracking. A cracked tooth is a tooth that has a split, fracture, craze or crack somewhere in the tooth. A crack in a tooth can run in any direction and can penetrate through either the whole tooth or only a small portion of the tooth.

Causes of Cracked Teeth

There are several reasons why your teeth might crack. A cracked tooth could be caused by a filling that causes the tooth to weaken, such as if there is a large filling in the tooth. Bruxism, teeth grinding, may also cause your teeth to break and/or crack due to abnormally wearing down. Eating hard foods, such as ice and candy, cause teeth to crack when biting down. One of the most common causes of cracked teeth is an injury, such as a getting hit in the mouth while playing sports or from an auto accident.

Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

The symptoms of a cracked tooth vary depending on the severity of the crack. Some of the most common symptoms of a cracked tooth include:

  • Sensitiivty to hot or cold
  • Pain when chewing
  • Spontaneous shooting pain
  • Excessive pain when eating sour or sweet foods

Treating a Cracked Tooth

In some situations, it may be difficult to diagnose a cracked tooth. If the tooth does not have a visible crack or break, your dentist will typically take dental X-rays to determine the degree and location of the crack. Treating a cracked tooth depends on the severity, type and location of the injury. If the crack is comprising the cusp of the tooth, your dentist may remove the weakened area and place a filling in the tooth. In some situations, if there is more than one cusp compromised, you might need a crown. In severe cases, your dentist may recommend a root canal due to the pulp of the tooth becoming damaged through the crack.

Preventing Cracks

There are a number of ways to prevent cracking in teeth, such as avoiding hard foods and wearing a mouth guard while playing sports. Taking proper care of your teeth and going to the dentist for regular visits will help your keep your teeth healthy and in good shape.

The longer you delay repairing a cracked tooth, the greater the risk is for an infection to develop. If you are experiencing pain in your teeth from a possible cracked tooth, contact us so we can examine your teeth and apply the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.