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?
Some cracks continue to be present even after treatment. A cracked tooth is treated based on the type of crack present on the tooth. Cracks that extend beyond the gum line are not treatable. Root canal treatment followed by crown placement prevents further cracking. Split tooth can be treated through endodontic treatment to save the remaining portion of teeth
DID YOU KNOW?
Extensive cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the tooth.