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Cracked Teeth: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Keep Your Teeth Healthy and Whole with our Madison Dentists

Cracks are among the top dental problems leading to permanent tooth loss. They can happen due to poor oral hygiene or from physical trauma. At Total Care Dental, we help patients prevent cracks with our comprehensive preventative dental services. If your teeth are cracked, schedule an appointment and learn more now.

Types of Cracks:

  • Craze lines – superficial surface cracks on the enamel
  • Fractured cusp – part of the tooth breaks off but does not expose the pulp
  • Split tooth – a deep crack which divides the tooth in sections through the root
  • Vertical root fracture – a crack starting in the root rather than the crown

What Causes Teeth to Crack

Popcorn KernelsBruxism (teeth grinding) is a common cause of cracks. The pressure from daily or nightly grinding damages the surface of the teeth over time. The end result is small cracks. Old fillings can weaken a tooth and allow cracks to develop.

Large cracks can occur while eating due to the force of a misaligned bite. Be careful when eating hard foods like candy or nuts. Even popcorn can cause cracks if you bite on a kernel. Trauma from sports can also lead to similarly large cracks if you are not wearing  a performance mouth guard.

Finally, cracks become more common as teeth age. Regular dental checkups are always recommended. The earlier a crack is caught by our dentists, the sooner treatment can begin.

Signs of Cracked Teeth

There are several symptoms to look for when diagnosing a cracked tooth:

  • Pain when eating
  • Sudden sensitivity to temperature
  • Visible fractures or part of a tooth falls out
  • Sporadic pain from one tooth

Dentist Treating Cracked ToothUnfortunately, many people may not know they have a cracked tooth until it begins to grow. At this point you need to setup an appointment with Total Care Dental to have your teeth checked out.

Treating a Cracked Tooth

Treating your cracked tooth is important in order to stop pain and prevent further oral health problems. Even a small crack can allow bacteria to thrive and cause a cavity to form.

Total Care Dental dentists will determine the right treatment for you based on the type of crack that has formed. In most cases, the crack will be filled in or protected to prevent further growth. Composite veneers are one way to cover superficial craze lines or fractured cusps. Root canal therapy may be necessary if a crack reached the pulp of a tooth. Some patients may need to have the entire tooth extracted and replaced if the damage from the crack is bad enough.

Schedule a dental appointment in Madison with Total Care Dental.