Cracked Teeth | Westminster MA

Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even upon the release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of the discomfort.

Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and the tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It is possible that the cracks lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gums surrounding the problematic tooth.

Types of Cracks

Craze Lines

These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are more common in adults. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern.

Fractured Cusp

When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or be removed by Dr. Palermo. A fractured cusp may not damage the pulp, so root canal therapy is not usually necessary. Dr. Palermo usually will restore the problematic tooth with a full coverage crown.

Cracked Tooth

This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertical migrates toward the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the level of the gum tissue. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root. In this case, root canal treatment is necessary, followed by fabrication of a full coverage crown. A cracked tooth that is not treated will only worsen, resulting in loss of the tooth. Even with proper and early treatment occasionally the crack can progress undetected and cause loss of the tooth in the future.

Split Tooth

A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. This type of crack will almost always result in loss of the tooth.

Vertical Root Fracture

A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Unfortunately, they show minimal symptoms and many times go unnoticed. Treatment involves root canal therapy or root canal surgery if a portion of the tooth is thought to be able to be saved, otherwise removal of the tooth is recommended. 

If a tooth has to be removed many options are available to fill the space where the tooth was. These include implant therapy, a permanent bridge, a removable partial denture, or other treatment that Dr. Palermo will review and discuss with you.