Over the course of your life, your teeth will experience a lot of wear and tear. Some of this damage, such as that caused by contact sports injuries and chewing hard foods, can be sufficient to crack or break your teeth. Cracked or broken teeth are not a novelty and there are multiple Humble cosmetic dentistry treatments your dentist can use to fix them.
But, did you know that there are different types of breaks, each with its best mode of treatment? According to the American Association of Endodontics, tooth cracks, and breaks can be categorized into the following five categories.
Craze lines are the hairline fractures of the teeth. They are simply shallow and vertical cracks that occur on the outside of the enamel, more commonly in adults. Typically, craze lines do not cause any pain and their damage is cosmetic because they can ruin your smile. Your dentist will usually smooth them out if they are very shallow or apply porcelain veneers to the affected teeth to obscure them.
A cracked tooth is an incomplete fracture that begins on the surface and extends toward the root of the tooth. The enamel, which is usually cracked, may move and irritate the pulp underneath, causing severe discomfort. If the damage encroaches on the root, this type of break can cause root pathosis. Mild cracks are treatable with dental crowns, which are inserted to protect the damage from reaching the root. If the crack is too deep, however, your dentist may replace your tooth with an implant.
If you constantly grind or clench your teeth, or have severe tooth decay, you may develop a fractured cusp. This condition is characterized by the breaking off of a piece of the tooth surface due to enamel weakening. It is more prevalent in the molars and can cause a lot of discomfort but little pain. Among other symptoms, you may experience gum irritation, pain when you chew or bite, and increased heat or cold sensitivity. The remedy is usually a filling or crown depending on the size of the fracture.
Vertical Root Fracture
As the name suggests, a vertical root fracture is a crack that begins from the root and extends toward the surface of the tooth. Because it begins under the surface, you may only notice it when it causes gum inflammation in the surrounding tissue. Your dentist can also diagnose it early through a radiograph. In most cases, they will remove the affected tooth and replace it with an implant.
You have split roots when your tooth breaks into two halves and they separate completely from each other. Dentists treat this problem by extracting both parts of the tooth completely and replacing it with an implant. However, when the tooth is a premolar or molar and has multiple roots, your dentist may maintain an undamaged root and cover it with a crown or denture.
Do Not Wait to Fix a Broken Tooth
Whatever type of broken tooth you have, it is never advisable to put off treatment. Even a simple crack can worsen and cause severe pain and infection if you continue to apply pressure on it. It is also easier for bacteria and food particles to access the pulp of a broken tooth and cause infections like tooth decay and gingivitis. To avoid all this, contact a cosmetic dentist as soon as you notice breaks in your teeth. They will determine the extent of the damage and how best to treat it.