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Cracked Teeth

The teeth are the strongest substance in the human body. However, just because they are strong, that does not mean that they cannot suffer harm. Taking care of your teeth with regular brushing, flossing and dental visits helps to minimize the risk of harm, but even those who are diligent in their oral care routine can still face tooth damage. Cracks in the teeth are a fairly common dental issue. They are the result of a variety of different causes, including such things as facial trauma, falls, and sports-related accidents. At the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS, we can diagnose a cracked tooth and provide you with the necessary treatment to restore your oral health.

What Happens if You Ignore a Cracked Tooth?

When you have a cracked tooth, getting treatment right away is important. Ignoring it can lead to serious issues. When you bite and chew using a cracked tooth, the pressure exerted on it can force the crack to widen. This can then expose the interior of your tooth to bacterial invasion and painful tooth infections. These infections are irreversible without treatment, and can even go so far as to spread into the bone, surrounding tissue and even throughout the body.

Illustration of a cracked tooth at dentist office in Woodland Hills, CA.

Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

There are several symptoms that can point toward a cracked tooth. These symptoms include:
•  Severe pain while chewing.
•  Tooth sensitivity.
•  Trouble locating the exact source of the pain.
•  Experiencing tooth pain that has no apparent cause.

Types of Cracks That Affect Teeth

There are multiple types of cracks that can affect your teeth. The exact type of crack you experience is a major determining factor in the treatment that you receive. Common types of cracks that affect teeth are:
•  Craze lines. Craze lines are tiny cracks that only affect the outer layer of the teeth and do not extend into the dentin. They are a normal result of continual use over the years and do not require treatment.
•  Oblique supragingival cracks. These cracks only affect the visible portion of the tooth and do not go below the gums. They do not affect the pulp of the tooth and cause little pain.
•  Oblique subgingival cracks. These cracks go below the gumline, often below the jawbone, and are quite painful. They usually require a combination of periodontal surgery and endodontic treatment.
•  Oblique root cracks. Damage from these cracks is only below the gumline, and usually below the jawbone. Endodontic treatment may be possible, but extractions are almost always inevitable.
•  Vertical furcation cracks. These types of cracks occur when the root separates, and almost always impacts the nerve of the tooth. Root canals can usually save the tooth.
•  Vertical apical root cracks. These cracks occur at the tip of the root. While extractions are not always necessary, they are usually done to alleviate the significant pain these cracks cause.

Treating Your Cracked Tooth

Your specific treatment will depend on the type, and severity, of the crack. Most cracked teeth can be restored with a crown. If the pulp of the tooth is affected, a root canal is performed first, and a crown placed when the treatment is complete. If the tooth cannot be saved, we will then recommend you for an extraction. If you do require an extraction, we will discuss your replacement options with you to restore the functions of your mouth, your smile, and your oral health.

If you suspect a cracked tooth, it is important to receive treatment as soon as possible. Call the office of Joseph Dautremont, DDS today at (818) 570-8525 for more information and to schedule your appointment.

Joseph Dautremont, DDS, MAGD
(818) 570-8525
6024 Fallbrook Ave, Ste 201
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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