More and more people are suffering from cracked teeth. Cracked teeth more commonly occur in teeth which are heavily filled. Our stressful lifestyles can encourage clenching or grinding of teeth and this too can lead to cracks developing.
Clenching or grinding can often go undetected. Grinding of teeth can often keep your partner up at night but clenching makes no sound at all. The signs of clenching or grinding are best detected by visiting your dental practice. The cusps of the teeth are often worn down and characterised by the loss of enamel on the biting surfaces of your teeth.
If there is a crack within the tooth, it can be difficult to diagnose. Cracks are difficult to see at examination and almost impossible to see on x-rays. Signs of a crack within a tooth are pain whilst chewing or biting on particularly hard things and sensitivity with hot and cold.
The problem is these signs and symptoms are characteristic of other dental pathology and a careful dental examination should be made by your dentist before carrying out this diagnosis.
The treatment for a crack can involve taking the tooth out of the bite, placing an adhesive restoration in the tooth to keep the tooth structure together or placing a restoration over the tooth, such as a crown to protect the remaining tooth tissue.
A crack is a direct route for bacteria into the nerve within the tooth and if the tooth has been badly affected it may need a root treatment prior to placing a crown. Teeth which have been root treated are more likely to fracture and so especially back teeth are likely to need crowns after a good quality root treatment has been carried out.
Teeth can split or fracture in such a way that the roots within the tooth are divided. This is called a vertical fracture. These teeth should be removed as they have a very poor prognosis. At this point a decision should be made whether or not the tooth needs to be replaced. For information about this click on replacing lost teeth or implants.