Cracked Tooth Extraction
Cracked teeth can be caused by any number of stresses or impacts, and involve a variety of symptoms. These generally include erratic pain while chewing or on release of bite pressure, or pain when your teeth are exposed to hot or cold foods and liquids. In some cases, the damage is minimal and the pain may come and go. If the damage is serious cracked tooth extraction may be the only option.
Inside Your Teeth
In understanding why a cracked tooth is serious and why the damage can be so painful, it’s important to know something about the anatomy of teeth. Under the hard white enamel on the outside is a hard layer called the dentin, but within that is soft inner tissue known as the pulp. This is where the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves are.
When the hard outer layers are cracked, chewing can cause movement in the separated pieces, leading to pressures on the pulp nerves that causes irritation. If the pulp becomes inflamed and is not treated, the pulp may deteriorate and not be able to repair itself. In time, a cracked tooth may hurt even without chewing, while infections can spread to the gum and even the jawbones.
Types of Cracking
Sometimes the cracks are just shallow fractures in the enamel, known as craze lines, that affect appearance but don’t cause discomfort.
Sometimes a bit of the top chewing portion, called the cusp, breaks off. If the fracture isn’t deep and it only affects the top of the tooth, it can repaired with a new filling or crown.
A vertical root fracture is when only the root of the tooth is cracked, and may not cause any discomfort. However, the crack can spread to the upper tooth or cause inflammation and infection at the root. Cracks that deepen and split the tooth generally cannot be saved entirely.
Seriously fractured teeth where the crack extends all the way to the pulp need to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Cracks tend to get progressively worse, and if it reaches the gum line, it may not be possible to save the tooth.
Saving Your Tooth
Treatment depends on the location, type of crack, and the extent of the damage. It’s important to see a dentist if you suspect you have a cracked tooth. Leaving it untreated can lead to further damage and infections that go all the way to the tooth’s root.
Even more moderate cracks tend to get progressively worse and can destroy the tooth. The only option then is to extract the damaged tooth completely. However, if caught in time, a dentist may be able to save your tooth with a root canal procedure. In this surgery the root and damaged pulp are removed, and the space is cleansed and filled. This allows you to retain the original upper tooth.
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, contact Southern Dental Care to make an appointment and save yourself from cracked tooth extraction. You can contact our Marrero offices at 504-347-1014 or you can fill out the appointment form to the right of this post! We look forward to hearing form you!