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Fractured (Cracked) Teeth


Since people are living longer and more demanding lives today, our teeth sometimes can suffer the consequences, being subjected to additional years of crack-inducing habits. Some of these habits include clenching, grinding, and chewing hard objects, which ultimately make our teeth more vulnerable to cracking. There are many symptoms associated with cracked teeth, including increased sensitivity while chewing or when exposed to extreme temperature changes. Occasionally, the pain will not be consistent, which can make it difficult for your dentist to determine which tooth is causing the discomfort. 


To help you understand why cracked teeth may cause pain and discomfort, it is important to first understand the anatomy of the tooth. Beneath the white enamel of the tooth, there is inner soft tissue called pulp. The loose pulp is connective tissue that is comprised of cells, blood vessels, and nerves. 


When a tooth is cracked, chewing can cause the microscopic movement of the hard pieces of the tooth and irritate the pulp, which can cause severe, sharp pain while chewing. If treatment is not sought quickly, the irritation to the pulp could eventually damage the pulp enough where it can no longer heal itself. It is also possible for larger cracks that are left untreated to cause an infection inside the pulp tissue, which can spread to surrounding bone and gum tissue.


Early diagnosis is extremely important with cracked teeth. The sooner a crack is detected and treated, the better the chance of saving your tooth.

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