Cracked teeth can be painful and without treatment may deteriorate and need to be extracted. Many patients do not realize they have a cracked tooth until it has become severely damaged and caused sudden pain or breaks off. There are several common causes of cracked teeth, but as we age our teeth become susceptible to this type of damage as enamel weakens with age. Lifestyle habits and bite problems can increase your risk of developing a cracked tooth.
Dr. Aaron Schamback and the dental team at Great Smile Dental educate patients on their unique health risks as part of our routine preventive dental care program. We look for any signs of excessive tooth wear or damage during these visits and take the time to understand your risk factors for dental problems. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaw are more likely to experience cracked teeth as a result of the pressure placed upon tooth surfaces.
How Do I Know If My Teeth Are Cracked?
It is possible you may never know you have a cracked tooth and there are certain types of tooth cracks that do not pose a dental health risk. Craze lines in a tooth are tiny cracks in the enamel that do not impact tooth function or strength. However, more serious types of cracks can lead to loss of a tooth if not addressed promptly. Common signs can include:
- Sudden tooth pain
- Increased or sudden tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Broken tooth
- Pain or swelling along the gum line or around a specific tooth
Tooth cracks can be superficial or can extend into the root as with a vertical root fracture. When the crack impacts below the enamel of the tooth it can cause an infection of the soft tissues and even the bone. Treating a suspected cracked tooth, broken tooth or any sudden changes in your oral health can help you avoid complex problems, permanent damage and even tooth loss. Contact us immediately if you are concerned about a cracked tooth or part of a tooth breaks off.