A visible crack in a tooth is not unusual, especially as we get older. Back teeth tend to get fracture lines more commonly than front teeth. In most cases, the crack, or craze line, is superficial and not a dental problem.
Cracks in teeth do become a problem when biting down or cold food causes pain in the tooth. This is called Cracked Tooth Syndrome. The reason a cracked tooth responds to cold or biting is because the fracture has become deep enough to irritate the nerves in the tooth. Another explanation for the pain could be that the crack extends below the gums around the tooth and irritates the underlying bone. Either way, the pain is a warning sign that there is a foundational problem with the tooth. Failure to properly respond to this warning usually results in the tooth braking. The consequences could be substantial tooth loss, nerve damage requiring endodontic treatment ( a root canal) or the loss of the tooth.
The proper treatment Cracked Tooth Syndrome is to place a restoration that holds all of the tooth parts together so they cannot flex apart and that seals up the fractures. This is most commonly done by placing a crown on the tooth. A proper and timely crown restoration preserves the integrity of the tooth, prevents the cracks from getting deeper and usually resolves the discomfort. Waiting to place a crown on a tooth that needs one often leads to complication.
To learn about ways to preserve the health of your teeth and gums, please contact our dental team today to request an appointment.