If you experience pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or pain when you release pressure from chewing, you may have a cracked tooth. Pain when chewing and/or biting down tend to be the leading symptoms for cracked teeth.
There are a few types of cracks. The treatment depends on the nature and severity of the crack(s).
Craze lines are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are more common in adults than children. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern.
A fractured Cusp is when a cusp becomes weakened to the point that it breaks off. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so root canal treatment is usually not necessary. Your dentist will usually restore the tooth with a full crown.
A cracked tooth is when a crack extends from the chewing surface toward the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line and even into the bony socket that supports the tooth. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. If detected early enough, root canal treatment and a crown are necessary to save the tooth.
A split tooth is generally the outcome of an untreated cracked tooth. A split tooth cannot be saved.
A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. This type of fracture may not show physical signs and is best detected with 3D Cone Beam CT imaging. These teeth can rarely be saved.