A cracked tooth can manifest as sharp pain during biting. There may also be sensitivity to cold or hot drinks.
Cracked teeth can be a result of
- regular consumption of hard foods such as nuts
- a habit of clenching and/or grinding teeth as a result of stress
- daily wear and tear
- presence of large fillings on your teeth
- having teeth with steep cuspal slopes
If a crack line is detected early, when the pulp (nerve of the tooth) is still healthy, an onlay or a crown can be placed without further root canal treatment. Onlay and crowns aim to minimise the risk of further crack propagation into the tooth.
If the tooth presents with prolonged sensitivity or pain, a root canal treatment may be needed. This is because the pulp (nerve of the tooth) may be irreversibly inflamed or infected.
If the crack lines are extended deep into the tooth, extraction of the tooth may be necessary as the long term prognosis of the tooth is poor. In many cases, an operating microscope is needed to determine the depth of the crack lines.
If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, have it checked as soon as possible. Early detection can avoid a root canal treatment or extraction of the tooth.