Cracked Tooth Specialist

Mark C. Beal, D.M.D. & Associates

Cosmetic Dentistry & General Dentistry located in Boston, MA

A cracked tooth doesn’t always show visible signs of damage, but it can cause erratic pain or sensitivity to heat and cold. Dr. Mark Beal and his associates at Mark C. Beal, D.M.D. & Associates in Boston provide conservative and high-tech options to treat dental problems like cracked teeth. Early diagnosis and treatment can save your cracked tooth. Call Mark C. Beal, D.M.D. & Associates or schedule an appointment online today.

Cracked Tooth Q & A

Mark C. Beal, D.M.D. & Associates

Why does a cracked tooth hurt?

When the hard outer tissues of a tooth are cracked, chewing causes the pieces to move and irritate the tooth’s pulp. As biting pressure releases, the crack closes quickly, resulting in a momentary, sharp pain. Chewing causes repeated irritation of the dental pulp.

Eventually, the pulp becomes so damaged it can no longer heal itself. The tooth may not only hurt during chewing but can also become sensitive to extreme temperatures. In time, it may hurt all by itself.

Extensive tooth cracks lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum tissue that surrounds the tooth. Early diagnosis is essential to treating and saving a cracked tooth.

Are there different types of cracked teeth?

There are several types of cracked teeth. Dr. Beal and his associates determine the best course of treatment based on the type, location, and extent of the crack.

Craze lines

Craze lines are tiny cracks affecting the outer enamel. Extremely common in adult teeth, craze lines cause no pain, are very shallow, and not of concern beyond appearance.

Fractured cusp

A fracture can occur in the pointed part of your tooth’s chewing surface — or cusp — when it becomes weakened. Your tooth can break off by itself or require an endodontist.

Cracked tooth

A crack can occur from your tooth’s chewing surface all the way to the root. These cracks often cause damage to the pulp and require a root canal.

Split tooth

A split tooth is often due to long-term progression of a cracked tooth. The entire tooth can’t be saved with this type of crack because it has distinct segments that can be separated. The extent of the crack and its location determine whether part of the tooth can remain.

Vertical root fracture

Vertical root fractures begin at the root of the tooth and extend toward the chewing surface. They often show minimal signs and symptoms, going unnoticed until the surrounding bone and gum become infected.

Can you prevent cracked teeth?

Cracked teeth aren’t completely preventable, but you can take steps to make your teeth less susceptible by:

  • Not clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Wearing a mouthguard or protective mask when playing contact sports
  • Not chewing on hard objects like ice, unpopped popcorn kernels, or pens

Call or schedule an appointment online today.

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