Cracked Teeth

If you have a cracked tooth you could be experiencing a whole host of symptoms including pain when chewing, hot and cold sensitivity or even pain when releasing biting pressure. It is very common for the pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.

Chewing often causes movement of cracked pieces of the tooth, which can irritate the pulp tissue within the tooth. When bite pressure is released, again the tooth segments might move quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Over time, the pulp tissue will become damaged and the tooth will always hurt, whether of chewing or not. At this stage the tooth likely has a pulp tissue infection that could spread to the bone and gum surrounding the cracked tooth.

Types of cracks

Craze Lines:

These are tiny superficial lines only affecting the outer enamel. These cracks are extremely common in adult teeth, and are most often of little or no concern.

Fractured Cusp:

When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture sometimes results A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp. The weakened cusp could break off itself, or have to be removed by a dentist. Root canal treatment is seldom needed if restored by your dentist.

Cracked Tooth:

This type of crack usually extends from the chewing surface vertically towards the root. Sometimes the crack might extend below the gum line and in certain instances into the root. Damage to the pulp is common and in these cases a root canal is usually necessary. If left untreated, a cracked tooth will worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.

Split Tooth:

If left untreated, a cracked tooth will usually lead to a split tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments and can never be fully saved. However, the position and extent of the crack will determine whether any portion of the original tooth could be saved. In certain cases, endodontic treatment and a crown or other restorations by your dentist might be used to save a portion of the tooth.

Vertical root fracture:

A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends toward the base of the chewing surface of the tooth. They often show minimal or no signs or symptoms, and as such usually go unnoticed for some time. Treatment might involve endodontic surgery if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root, otherwise the tooth will have to be fully extracted.

At any time before, during and after the surgery, Richmond Hill Endodontics will always be available to answer any of your questions or concerns.

Please call our practice to schedule your consultation: (905)508-4700 or email us at

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