Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack or break. Broken teeth can vary from minor chips to more significant cracks. Minor tooth cracks don’t usually cause pain, but if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt. The nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. If the nerve endings are exposed to air, or too hot or cold food or drinks, it can be extremely painful.
How can I tell if I have broken teeth?
If you have any broken teeth, you may get pain from time to time when you are eating. Especially when you release biting pressure. Extreme hot and cold temperatures may cause discomfort. The gum near the affected tooth may swell.
What causes teeth to crack?
Many things can cause teeth to crack. Extreme tooth grinding can put the teeth under a lot of pressure and can result in cracks. Chewing or biting on something hard, for example, ice, boiled sweets, fruit stones or meat bones. A blow to the chin or lower jaw, sudden changes in mouth temperature or large fillings can also weaken teeth and cause them to crack.
Minor cracks and chips can appear in the enamel of the tooth and rarely need treatment. We may lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots. A cracked or fractured tooth is a little more serious. and often runs from the surface of the tooth all the way down to the root. The tooth will often need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If the nerve is damaged you may need root canal treatment. A split tooth means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your back molars, have more than one route. It may be possible to keep one of the routes, which will then be covered with a crown. In some cases, when a root cannot be saved, the tooth will have to be removed.