Most adults have have craze lines and they cause little concern.
They are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth, are
painless and may affect the cosmetic appearance of the tooth. These
lines allow light to pass through them to light up the whole crown of
the tooth. If there is a crack, light will not pass through.
When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. A
fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp. This tooth will need to
be restored with a full crown.
This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the
tooth and vertically migrates towards the root. Damage
to the pulp is common. A root
canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that
is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of the
A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked
tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments.
The position and extent of the problem will dictate whether
any portion of the tooth can be saved.
|Vertical Root Fracture
A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends
towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Treatment may
involve root surgery if a portion of the tooth can be
Cracked tooth syndrome is a
very common problem that affects teeth that have large fillings in
them. Decay and large
fillings causes a weakening in the remaining tooth structure over
time. A hairline fracture often develops at the bottom
corner of the filling.
your teeth will cause massive increase in the stress and stain on your premolars
and molars increasing the risk of this condition. Also, having
worn down fillings or canines will increase your risk factors toward
The reason it hurts to bite when
you have a cracked tooth is the fact that your tooth is flexing which
microscopically stimulates the nerve in the tooth. These
hairline cracks open and close which applies pressure on tubules that
run down the nerve of the tooth causing fluid to push and pull on the tooth's
nerve resulting in pain. The nerve in the cracked tooth is also being
exposed to bacterial toxins that become inflamed making it sensitive
allowing infection to spread to the nerve and bone tissue underneath
resulting in an abscess. If the crack
goes untreated it will spread and deepen like a crack in glass and a
part of the tooth may break off causing a need for a root
canal or extraction.
|Sensitive to hot and cold|
|Pain upon release of biting pressure which may come
and go when you release from biting because the crack will close
quickly causing pain.|
Test To Check Diagnosis
The only way to diagnose a fracture is through
interpreting a tooth's response to temperature and touch.
|Thorough dental history. |
|Check for a history of trauma, clenching or bruxism
and chewing habits like, ice|
|History of bite adjustments|
|Examine the teeth with an explorer|
|Check hot and cold sensitivity. If a sharp pain
is felt with temperature, and the pain rapidly diminishes with
removal of the stimulus, then a fracture is more likely.
|Probe the gum tissue for pocketing |
|Check for a cracked filling |
|Using a cotton roll, rubber wheel or bite stick,
you will be asked to bite down liken on chewing gum to help isolate
each tooth |
|X-ray films. |
|A filling might need to be removal to help
visualize the crack and assess nerve involvement. |
A fracture will probably not improve and will eventually need to be
treated. Teeth do have a limited ability to heal themselves.
Unfortunately, fractured teeth do not heal themselves like other bones
in your body. The only real solution to hold the
tooth together and to prevent the tooth from breaking is with a crown.
A crown will allow chewing forces to move the whole tooth rather than
splitting it apart. This full crown is bonded over the entire tooth to
the small cracks and prevent bacterial leakage thus allowing the nerve
to recover and stabilize.
About 10% of cracked teeth
have nerves that can still die and need root
canal treatment. Early treatment can help to minimize this
from happening. If you decide to refuse treatment for this
condition remember that that tooth is like a ticking time bomb that will
suddenly flare up and cause sever pain, swelling, pus and possible bone
loss that will put stress on your immune system and may affect your
What causes teeth to break?
One factor is
silver fillings. These fillings have
been found to enlarge as they age which may cause some outward pressure
as you chew or bite. Over time this can cause a broken tooth.
A more common type of fracture is when the inside area of the tooth
breaks off, this fracture can usually be easily repaired.
Bruxism is one of the most common causes
of teeth breaking.
February 27, 2007
Home Bridge-Crown Guide
Our Services Root
Source of pictures: Dr. Stropko