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Fractured Tooth (Cracked Teeth)

Chipped or cracked teeth are common conditions that can be caused by aging, tooth grinding, trauma, and other factors. They may cause pain, sensitivity and swelling, although some cracked teeth won’t display any symptoms for a while.

At Habersham Dental, we employ the latest methods to diagnose and treat cracked teeth based on the crack’s location and severity. Early intervention is important to safeguard the long-term health of your teeth. If you believe you have a cracked tooth, call us right away to schedule an appointment!

Causes of Cracked Teeth

There are quite a few activities and conditions that can cause a fractured or chipped tooth.
It pays to be aware of these common causes:

  • Traumatic injuries, such as a fall or a blow to the mouth, chin, or jaw
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Chewing hard foods, such as candy or popcorn kernels
  • Habits like chewing ice or gum
  • Large dental fillings or root canals, which weaken the tooth
  • Abrupt temperature changes in the mouth
  • Age: most cracked teeth occur in those age 50 and over

Types of Cracked Teeth

Depending on the nature of your specific tooth fracture, you may experience different symptoms and levels of pain. The type of broken tooth may also dictate how we treat it. The type and degree of cracking in a tooth may be classified in several ways:

  • Craze lines (hairline cracks): These are small, thin cracks that appear on the strong outer enamel of your tooth. Craze lines typically don’t cause any pain.
  • Fractured cusp: These cracks usually form around dental fillings and don’t affect the pulp of the tooth (the soft center of the tooth where nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels are). As a result, they generally aren’t painful. 
  • Split tooth: This type of crack splits the tooth in two and extends from the biting surface to below the gumline. 
  • Vertical root fracture: These cracks start below the gum line and travel upward. Vertical root fractures may not cause symptoms unless the tooth becomes infected. An extraction is often required. 

Symptoms of A Broken Tooth

A cracked tooth will not always produce symptoms. If you do experience symptoms, they often include:

Pain with chewing or biting (pain may come and go and be especially noticeable when releasing a bite)

Stressed young man drinking cold water with ice and suffering with tooth sensitivity. Latin man rubbing the side of his face

Sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness

Beautiful African-American young woman taking a bite of an apple.

Pain with chewing or biting (pain may come and go and be especially noticeable when releasing a bite)

What Does Gingivitis Look Like?

Swelling of the gum around the cracked tooth

Diagnosing A Cracked Tooth

In order to diagnose a cracked or chipped tooth, your Habersham dentist will ask about your symptoms and any potential causes of the crack, such as a facial injury or habits such as teeth grinding.

The dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and use a series of tests and imaging to accurately diagnose the type and extent of the crack. The dentist may:

Cracked Teeth Treatment

If your tooth has cracked and is causing you pain, you should call Habersham Dental immediately to make an emergency dental appointment. Early treatment is key!
A cracked tooth that is not treated will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth.

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on how much damage your tooth has suffered. Common cracked tooth treatments include:

  • Bonding: A plastic resin is used to fill in the crack.
  • Cosmetic contouring: Rough edges are polished out.
  • Crown: A porcelain or ceramic cap is fitted over the cracked tooth. 
  • Extraction: If the root and nerves of your tooth are severely damaged, removal of the tooth may be required. 
  • Root canal: Removal of damaged pulp may be needed if the crack extends into the pulp. 
  • Veneer: A thin covering of porcelain or plastic is fitted over the front of the tooth. Often used when you have a good amount of your natural tooth left.

If the crack is superficial and not causing pain, your dentist may recommend not repairing a broken tooth at all. Even if your cracked or chipped tooth is not causing any pain, you should make an appointment with us as soon as possible to assess the damage.

Until you are able to see a dentist, you can take a few steps at home to manage any pain. Place an ice pack on the outside of your mouth to prevent swelling. Rinse your mouth with salt water to clean your teeth.Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Tylenol or Advil to reduce pain and swelling.

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Contact Habersham Dental for Cracked Teeth Treatment in Savannah, GA

A cracked tooth can make you feel self-conscious and/or be incredibly painful. At Habersham Dental, we understand how important it is to provide efficient, professional treatment of cracked or chipped teeth, both for your own well-being and for the long-term health of your teeth. If you suspect you have a cracked or chipped tooth, call us today to schedule an appointment!