Does my fractured tooth need root canal treatment? Straight talk about cracked teeth in Conyers, GA
Cracks or fractures can make your tooth vulnerable to decay and oral infection –the common reasons that teeth need endodontic treatment. Think of cracked teeth as an “open invitation” for harmful bacteria to enter the tooth’s soft underlying layers, working their way toward the nervy pulp at its center. Fortunately, residents in and around Conyers, GA, have access to specialists in these types of treatments, including root canal therapy. Drs Desir, St. Paul, and De Veaux of Conyers Endodontic Center answer some of your most frequently asked questions about this condition.
What are the common signs of cracked teeth?
When you hear the word “cracked,” you may think of chipped teeth or other noticeable cosmetic imperfections. However, some cracks are an oral health concern. And, depending on the type of damage, the crack can remain hidden. A problematic crack may be lurking in your mouth if you suddenly experience:
- Sensitivity when you drink or eat something cold or hot.
- Pain after you bite down on food.
- Erratic pain, which comes and goes.
Will my cracked tooth need root canal therapy?
There are some telltale symptoms of pulp damage. For instance, the pain may arise more frequently and become more intense. It can disturb your ability to eat, sleep, or concentrate. Your gums may also appear swollen and feel tender when you touch them. These are signs that the pulp is infected, and the infection has potentially spread to the gums. That being said, we won’t know for sure if endodontic therapy is appropriate until after we examine your teeth.
What are my treatment options?
Not all cracks require treatment. Minor chips can be just that, a cosmetic concern. “Craze lines” develop over time. Since they affect only the enamel, craze lines do not need restorative treatment. We can often remedy fractures to the crown’s cusps or points with fillings or crowns. A tooth with a crack that extends to the gumline (not below it) may be “saved” with root canal therapy. A crack may also be isolated to the root of the tooth. These root fractures may also be treatable by removing the cracked portion.
A tooth can quite literally split down or near the middle. This untreatable condition generally arises over time, as a crack worsens. For this reason, we recommend you seek out treatment sooner rather than later. So, you can preserve your natural tooth. We also encourage preventive action. Refrain from chewing on pens or other hard objects, wear a sports guard to protect your teeth from dental injuries, and talk to your dentist about your options if you clench or grind your teeth (a condition known as bruxism).