Having a cracked tooth is an unpleasant thing to deal with. Like any other damage to your teeth, having a tooth that’s cracked will cause pain. But depending on the kind of pain you’re experiencing, you might be able to establish whether or not your tooth is cracked.
However, it’s still important to remember that you should always schedule an appointment with your dentist whenever you have a toothache that persists for longer than a day or two. Although you might feel scared of visiting your dentist, it’s better when problems can be identified and treated as soon as possible.
What Do Cracked Teeth Look Like?
There are different ways a tooth can crack meaning that cracked teeth won’t always look the same. Sometimes a tooth might literally have split all the way down to the root, while other times patients can experience a lot of pain because of a crack that isn’t even visible to them.
The different kinds of cracks are grouped according as follows:
- Craze lines: These cracks really don’t cause any problems, you might even see them when you examine your teeth while looking in a mirror, but they if they don’t cause you any pain, there’s no reason for concern. Craze lines aren’t cracked right through a tooth’s enamel, which is why they don’t cause any discomfort.
- A cracked tooth: A regular cracked tooth isn’t usually cracked down to the root, although the crack could worsen if the affected tooth is left untreated. Cracks aren’t always visible, that’s why it’s important to see your dentist when you have tooth pain, even if you don’t see any harm to your tooth.
- A vertical root fracture: This problem occurs when a tooth has split all the way down to the root. Often times, a tooth that’s been cracked into the root will have to be extracted.
- A split tooth: Split teeth are visibly split into two parts, but if the crack that’s splitting a tooth doesn’t extend to the root, these teeth can still be saved.
- A fractured cusp: This occurs in your molars when one of the part cracks. Sometimes it might even break off completely, leaving a large hole in your tooth.
Teeth aren’t like bones, they don’t heal when you leave them. Once a tooth has been fractured or damaged in any way, you must see a dentist in order to prevent further damage from rapidly occurring.
How Can I Tell If My Tooth Is Cracked?
The most obvious way to know when you’re tooth is cracked is when you can actually see the damage to your tooth. But assuming this isn’t the case, there are still some symptoms that could indicate that your tooth has a fine crack that goes deeper than the enamel.
If you have tooth pain and you’ve already went to your dentist without any luck finding the problem, you might have cracked tooth syndrome. This is a condition that occurs when the crack that’s causing the pain is perhaps even microscopically small, but has gone deeper than the hard, outer layer of your tooth.
Usually a cracked tooth will cause you to have erratic pain when you’re chewing, especially when you release your bite. Other than that, a crack that’s really small could lead to an infection of the pulp inside your tooth. If that’s the case, you might even feel a pain that throbs in intensity.
But preventing tooth damage is always better than treating it. Even if you do have a cracked tooth, be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your other teeth from cracking as well. You should always wear a mouth guard while playing contact sports and avoid grinding of clenching your teeth. If you find that you grind your teeth while sleeping, you should consider getting a mouth guard to use while you sleep as well. Avoid biting into hard foods like sugar candies (lollipops are an example). And lastly, always brush your teeth at least twice daily to keep them healthy and prevent further complications