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Cracked Teeth Specialist

Endodontic Partners of West Alabama -  - Endodontist

Endodontic Partners of West Alabama

Endodontists located in Tuscaloosa, AL

Suffering from a cracked, broken, or chipped tooth can affect more than just your appearance. A cracked tooth can lead to pain when chewing or biting, or when exposed to hot or cold temperatures. James Mills Jr, DMD, and Andrew Graves, DMD, at Endodontic Partners of West Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, have the experience needed to bring your cracked tooth back to its normal function. If you have a cracked tooth, call or schedule an appointment online with Endodontic Partners of West Alabama today.

Cracked Teeth Q & A

How do I know if I have cracked teeth?

Cracked teeth can present with various symptoms, most commonly with inconsistent pain when chewing. This pain occurs when biting down or when releasing biting pressure. Another common symptom of a cracked tooth is pain when exposed to extreme temperatures. This pain may fluctuate, making it hard to identify the exact tooth that’s damaged. 

Why do cracked teeth hurt?

A healthy tooth contains a layer of white enamel and then a layer of hard dentin. These layers protect the inside of the tooth's soft tissue layer, called the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves and the blood vessels of the tooth. 

If the hard layers of the tooth are cracked, the pieces of the tooth may move, agitating the soft, pulp layers. As pulp becomes irritated, it eventually cannot heal itself and may become permanently damaged. 

At first, biting and extreme temperatures cause pain in the cracked tooth, but eventually, the tooth may hurt all of the time. If you have an extensive or untreated crack in your tooth, the pulp may become infected, eventually infecting the gum and bone around the tooth as well. 

How does an endodontist treat cracked teeth?

The treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the crack's location, type, and extent. 

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth means that the crack extends vertically, from the chewing surface, all the way to the root of the tooth. While the tooth is still in one piece, the damage may deepen or spread over time. Your endodontist may treat your cracked tooth with a root canal and a crown to keep the crack from spreading.

If your cracked tooth extends below the gum line, the tooth is no longer fixable and will need to be removed or extracted. Early treatment of a cracked tooth is key to keeping your original tooth, as cracks tend to worsen over time.

Split Tooth

A split tooth is often the result of a cracked tooth that’s left untreated. Depending on the split location, sometimes a portion of the tooth is saveable. However, a split tooth cannot be saved intact.

Vertical Root Fracture

When a crack begins at the tooth's root and then extends upward, it's considered a vertical root fracture. Because these fractures may show limited symptoms, vertical root fractures may go undiscovered until the surrounding gums and bones become infected. 

An endodontist may need to extract the tooth or perform oral surgery to remove a portion of the tooth. 

Cracked teeth that go untreated can result in infections, tooth loss, and expensive treatments. If you suspect you have a cracked or chipped tooth, call or schedule an appointment with Endodontic Partners of West Alabama today.