Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even the release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.

Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth.

Types of Cracks

Craze lines

These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are more common in adults. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern.

Fractured Cusp

When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or be removed by a dentist. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so root canal is not necessary. Your dentist will usually restore the tooth with a full crown.

Treatable Cracked Tooth

This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertically migrates towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is commonplace. In this case, root canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.

Split Tooth

A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. This type of tooth can never be saved intact. Yet, the position and extent of the problem will dictate whether any portion of the tooth can be saved. Sometimes, endodontic retreatment by the doctors and restoration by your dentist can be used to save a portion of the tooth.

Vertical Root Fracture

A vertical root fracture begins at the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Unfortunately, they show minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. Treatment involves endodontic surgery if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured root. Otherwise, the tooth will have to be extracted.

Merchant Endodontics

5 out of 5 stars based on 5 Cracked Teeth reviews

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was very impressed with the staffing and equipment. The office was very clean. I initially went in to have a cracked tooth looked at and ended up getting a root canal done the same day. I have been in a lot of pain for about a week. From what I was told Root canals do not happen the same day, however Dr. Merchant was excited to get it done same day. He saw how much pain I was dealing with. The Dr. and staff was quick and efficient. The following day I received a follow up call from Kelsie to see how I was doing. This experience has exceeded my expectations from a dental office. Thank you Merchant Endodontists for an awesome experience.

- Joan P

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

No pain during and after Used before for two painless Root canals

- Toni W

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Best Endodontist in San Diego county.

- Jeremy W

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. Steven Merchant is very respected by other dental specialists who referred me (as well as their other patients). His friendly scheduler quickly slotted me into their schedule for immediate CT scans - 3 times over the past few years; one for a failed root canal (the product of 2 other dentists), another for an extraction (referred by a periodontist), and this week to diagnose a cracked molar and gum swelling/pain. The first time Dr. Merchant, whose expertise is root canals (and CT scan diagnosis), also advised my (then) dentist about how to proceed regarding the failed root canal. This week, Dr. Merchant again helped me (and my referring periodontist) w/a painful emergency. I was put at ease by our focused conversation; good, clear discussion; he was sympathetic yet confident of a good outcome, which put me at ease. Very comfortable to work with; friendly, encouraging, professional.

- Anna R

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Staff friendly and knowledge. Very efficient. Dr. Merchant numbed me for my procedure and did not feel a thing : ).

- Jennifer T

5 out of 5 stars on