Cracked Teeth

At New York Endodontic Associates, we not only specialize in root canals, but in repairing chipped and cracked teeth—an unfortunate phenomenon that happens all too often. In fact, you may not even know you have a cracked tooth because, sometimes, there are no symptoms at all. Fortunately, whether you are suffering from a minor crack, a more complicated fractured cusp, a split tooth, or a vertical root fracture, our endodontists can help. We look forward to working with you to ease your pain and restore your smile.

Possible Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

  • Pain when chewing
  • Temperature sensitivities
  • Swollen gums
  • Sensitivity to sweetness
  • Gum and teeth discomfort
  • Fluctuating pain

If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, make an appointment with us a soon as possible. In the meantime, rinse your mouth with warm water to keep it clean, and take over-the-counter pain medications to help with any discomfort. Using a cold compress against your cheek will help to reduce swelling.

Types of Cracks

Cracks in teeth happen for many different reasons, including biting down too hard, excessive grinding, physical injury, a failing filling, and even a sudden temperature change.

A depiction of craze lines on teeth

Craze lines

  • Tiny cracks on the outer enamel
  • Most common in adults
  • Usually minor, superficial, harmless
An example of a tooth with a fractured cusp

Fractured Cusp

  • Caused by a weakened cusp
  • Rarely damages the pulp
  • Usually restored with a crown, not a root canal
A sample of a tooth showing a treatable cracked tooth

Treatable Cracked Tooth

  • Vertical crack from chewing surface of the tooth to the root
  • Occasionally extends below gumline, further into the root
  • Usually damaged pulp—root canal treatment is often necessary
A depiction of a tooth split with distinct segments

Split Tooth

  • Often the result of an untreated cracked tooth
  • Has two distinct segments
  • Can usually be partially saved by endodontic treatment
An example of a vertical fracture starting at the tooth's root

Vertical Root Fracture

  • Minimal symptoms
  • Fracture extends from root to chewing surface of tooth
  • Typically, a portion of the tooth can be saved by endodontic surgery

Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the location and severity of the crack. Some cracks are so tiny that no treatment is needed, but when a crack has penetrated the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment may be necessary. At New York Endodontic Associates, we make every effort to save teeth. Experiencing pain or swelling? Come in for an evaluation before a possible infection ends in the removal of your tooth.

How can I avoid a cracked tooth?

The truth is not all cracks are avoidable, but being careful and paying attention to what you bite into can benefit your teeth in the long run.  Here are some strategies for preventing a cracked tooth:

  • Avoid hard to chew foods, like ice and popcorn kernels.
  • Stop bad biting habits, like grinding teeth and chewing on pens.
  • Try not to clench your teeth.
  • Wear a mouth guard if you play sports or grind your teeth at night.

You’ve got one set of teeth that need to last a lifetime, so treat them with care. When cracks happen, come in to see us right away. A great smile is essential for confidence and success in today’s world, and our doctors are experts in restoring our patients’ teeth so that they fit seamlessly with their smiles. Get started on fixing that cracked tooth of yours today. Call us to set up an appointment. New York Endodontic Associates Phone Number 516-869-0111