A cracked tooth is usually caused by trauma -- from biting down on something hard to receiving a blow to the face. Tooth decay can also weaken a tooth, eventually causing it to crack. Sometimes a cracked tooth may cause a toothache or jaw pain; other times it may lead to tooth sensitivity.
HOW IS CRACKED TEETH DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosing CTS has been a challenge to dental practitioners and is a source of frustration for both the dentist and the patient. Identification can be difficult because the discomfort or pain can mimic that arising from other pathologies, such as sinusitis, temporomandibular joint disorders, headaches, ear pain, or atypical orofacial pain. Thus, diagnosis can be time-consuming and represents a clinical challenge. Early diagnosis is paramount as restorative intervention can limit propagation of the fracture, subsequent microleakage, and involvement of the pulpal or periodontal tissues, or catastrophic failure of the cusp. The ease of diagnosis varies according to the position and extent of the fracture. Mandibular second molars, followed by mandibular first molars and maxillary premolars are the most commonly affected teeth. The tooth often has an extensive intracoronal restoration. The pain may sometimes occur following dental treatments, such as cementation of an inlay, which may be erroneously diagnosed as interferences or high spots on the new restoration. Recurrent debonding of cemented intracoronal restorations such as inlays may indicate the presence of underlying cracks.
HOW IS CRACKED TEETH TREATED?
Because of the high risk of pulp infection after the exposure of the pulp to the oral environment, a root canal procedure may need to be performed during the first visit. Alternatively, the dentist may elect to only apply a sedative dressing on the cracked tooth to help calm the tooth pain