Have you ever felt pain in a tooth while eating or after drinking something too hot or cold? You might have a cracked tooth. A cracked tooth may not cause any pain or discomfort and could even be symptomless, leaving the patient without any knowledge of the crack. Dr. Doyle Freano can treat patients with a cracked tooth in his Lexington, KY office. He recommends that you contact him if you experience pain or discomfort while eating, tooth swelling, sensitivity, and intermittent pain. Although tooth damage may seem like a small dental concern, it can worsen over time.
What To Do If You Have a Cracked Tooth
Call Dr. Freano if you show any signs or symptoms of a cracked tooth. If the crack is deep enough, it can lead to an infection that can spread to the bone and gums. At your appointment at our Lexington, KY dentist office, Dr. Freano will perform a visual examination of your teeth. He may need to take x-rays or use a magnifying glass to get a better view of your teeth. There are several different types of cracked teeth he may discover.
- Fractured Cusp: A fractured cusp occurs when a piece of the chewing surface of the tooth has broken off. It is typically seen around dental fillings and does not usually cause pain.
- Split Tooth: This is when a tooth is literally split or close to splitting into two. The tooth may or may not be saved. Dr. Freano will try to save half of the tooth but if it’s not possible then the entire tooth will need to be extracted.
- Vertical Root Crack: This type of crack begins below the gum line, in the root of the tooth, and extends upward. This is difficult to fix and will most likely need to be extracted.
- Craze Lines: These are very tiny cracks that appear in the tooth’s enamel. They do not cause pain and do not need to be treated.
- Crack that extends into gum line: A vertical crack that extends below the gum line requires prompt treatment to save the tooth and relieve the pain.
- Crack that does not extend into gum line: A vertical crack that does not extend below the gum line is usually not painful and the tooth can be saved.
Repairing Cracked Teeth
There are several treatments for cracked teeth:
- Dental Bonding: Dr. Freano will use a simple tooth-colored filling for minor cracks and tooth damage.
- Dental Filling: If decay is present, Dr. Freano will use a resin dental filling to fix the damage. If the crack is near a dental filling, he may need to remove the filing to inspect the damage.
- Dental Crown: Dr. Freano will most likely use a dental cap to save the tooth from further damage and give it strength if the crack is above the gum line.
- Root Canal: If the crack has extended into the pulp chamber of the tooth, he may need to perform a root canal to save the tooth. Dr. Freano will cap the tooth with a dental crown to restore the tooth after the root canal.
- Tooth Extraction: When cracks are in the root of the tooth or if the tooth is split beyond repair, it will most likely need to be extracted.
Cracked Tooth FAQs
Discover more about treating tooth damage, including a cracked tooth:
What happens if you leave a cracked tooth untreated?
It is highly recommended that patients see their dentist if they have a cracked tooth. Having a cracked tooth can cause extreme discomfort and pain, that may become unbearable if left untreated. A cracked tooth can also break from the pressure and is known to decay at an exponentially faster rate than a non cracked tooth. Ultimately if a cracked tooth is not treated in time, it can lead to the loss of the tooth entirely.
Does a cracked tooth show up on an x-ray?
X-rays normally do not show if a tooth is cracked. It only shows big and wide cracks, that tend to look like shadows. The best way to tell if a tooth is cracked is to use a special dye that stains the tooth. It will show the dentist any cracks based on the staining.
Is a cracked tooth painful?
Cracked teeth can be painful. It is typically reported to be the most painful when biting or applying pressure to the tooth. Patients with a cracked tooth also report pain and sensitivity with hot and cold drinks and foods. Pain from a cracked tooth can be intermittent. Some patients may experience no pain depending on the location of the crack.
Contact Our Office Today
Request a dental consultation with Dr. Freano on our website. You may also call his office for an appointment at 859-554-1586.