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SoCalSmiles Dental Office provides endodontic treatments for cracked teeth. Cracked and fractured teeth are a common dental problem and can occur for a variety of reasons. For more information on cracked teeth in Tarzana, California, and to schedule your appointment with one of our dentists, please call our office today at 818-345-5286.

Cracked and fractured teeth are common dental problems. Cracked teeth can occur as a result of trauma, grinding and clenching of teeth (bruxism), and biting on hard objects, among other things. You may not initially feel any discomfort when the enamel of your tooth is cracked, due to the absence of strain and pressure on the cracked tooth. However, as you continue biting and using the tooth, the crack will widen, exposing the pulp and inner tissues of the tooth, which in turn leads to irritation, and eventually to infection.

Symptoms of cracked teeth include:

  • Pain while eating
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and temperatures
  • Pain that has no obvious cause
  • Difficulty in finding the exact source of your pain

There are many different types of cracks. The specific type of crack your teeth experience determines what treatment options are available to you. In some cases, when the crack is not deep, a root canal treatment may be an option. In more severe cases, tooth extraction may be required, followed by a restorative treatment, such as a crown, bridge or implant. Some cracks are visible to the eye, while others require and x-ray to be clearly viewed.

Types of cracked teeth include:

  • Crazes – Crazes are tiny vertical cracks. They are basically scratches on the teeth, and are generally considered to be a normal part of the tooth anatomy. Crazes almost never require restorative treatments, and can instead be treated with cosmetic dentistry, such as a dental filling.
  • Oblique root cracks – Oblique root cracks do not affect the surface of the tooth. Instead, the damage occurs below the gum line, and often below the jawbone. Root canal treatments may be possible, but extraction is almost always the only treatment option for this type of crack.
  • Oblique subgingival cracks – Oblique subgingival cracks extend below the gum line, often going as far as the jawbone. When a piece of the tooth breaks off, it often remains attached until the dentist removes it. These cracks are painful, and treatments may require a combination of periodontal surgery and endodontic treatment to expose the crown and place a restoration.
  • Oblique supragingival cracks – These cracks affect the crown of the tooth above the gum line. Oblique supragingival cracks usually result in the affected portion of the tooth breaking off. There is very little pain associated with this type of cracking, because the pulp of the tooth is unaffected.
  • Vertical apical root cracks – This type of crack occurs at the tip of the roots, and causes high levels of pain. While a root canal can alleviate pain for a time, most patients eventually request extraction.
  • Vertical furcation cracks – This type of crack occurs when the roots of the tooth separate and almost always affects the nerve of the tooth. In most cases, a root canal therapy and a dental crown are effective treatments.

If you have any questions about cracked teeth, or to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists, please contact our office today.