Cracked Tooth Treatment Santa Rosa | Harry Albers DDS

Santa Rosa Dentist

1100 Sonoma Ave Suite E, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

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Cracked Tooth?

Think you may have a cracked tooth in Santa Rosa? If you feel a sharp pain when you bite down, have to avoid certain foods, or chew only on one side of your mouth, a cracked tooth may be the problem. Crack teeth are often cold sensitive. Over time the pain on chewing usually occurs more often and becomes more severe over time. The most lower and most back tooth is the most likely to crack.

What causes a tooth to crack?

A tooth may crack due to a variety of factors, including:

  • chewing on hard objects or foods such as ice, nuts or hard candy
  • an accident, such as a blow to the mouth
  • grinding and clenching your teeth
  • uneven chewing pressure from a bad bite
  • fatigue from years of chewing on a tooth
  • loss of a significant portion of tooth structure through wear, large fillings or other restorations
  • exposure of tooth enamel to temperature extremes, such as eating hot food and then drinking ice water
  • teeth that have become weakened by endodontic (root canal) treatment. These teeth usually need to be protected with a crown.
Detecting a cracked tooth in Santa Rosa may be difficult. You may not even be able to tell which tooth hurts or whether the pain is from an upper or lower tooth. A crack may appear as a hairline fracture, running vertically along the tooth. It often is invisible to the eye and may not show even on an X-ray.

You can help your dentist determine which tooth is causing the problem by noting when and where you have sensitivity to heat or cold and to sweet, sour or sticky food, as well as approximately where the pain is when you are chewing.
Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth in Santa Rosa may hurt because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open. When you stop biting, the pressure is released and a sharp pain results as the crack quickly closes.

Even though the crack may be microscopic, when it opens, the pulp inside the tooth may become irritated. The pulp is a soft tissue that contains the tooth's nerves and blood vessels. If the crack irritates the pulp, the tooth may become sensitive to temperature extremes. If the pulp becomes damaged or diseased as a result of the crack, root canal treatment may be necessary to save a cracked tooth in Santa Rosa.
Depending on the size and location of the crack, treatment may vary from bonding to root canal treatment with or without a crown. In the case of a severely cracked tooth, extraction may be needed. If extracted, a bone graph is placed and an then implant retained tooth would be placed.

While tiny cracks are common and usually do not cause problems, it’s important to have regular dental checkups so your dentist can diagnose and treat problems in the early stage. If you have persistent pain, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call Dr. Albers’ office to make an appointment immediately.
A cracked tooth in Santa Rosa may be caused by any number of reasons. It is not uncommon for teeth to crack when a "filling " is placed. Any filling, no matter what size weakens a tooth. When the tooth is weakened, different parts of the tooth can flex when chewing as you can see on the first two images to the left. ct_singletoothflexing
Here in cross section you can see how chewing forces flexes the weakened part of the tooth and causes a crack. ct_crosssectchewing
When the cusp breaks off, pain resulting from the flexing cusp stops, but exposed dentin can be sensitive and is more prone to decay. Of course a cracked tooth in Santa Rosa cannot function as well as when whole and needs to be restored. When large areas or cusps break off, an onlay or crown is needed to restore the tooth to function. ct_cuspbrokenoff
The patients’ cusp fracture above, extended below the gums, complicating the restorative treatment required. Here you can see the crack extends under the gum line. The result is that the gums need to be "lowered" to expose the tooth so it can be restored properly. ct_presurglongcrack
Here the crack remains the same to illustrate the gums lowered by means of gum surgery to allow restoration of the tooth. ct_postsurglongcrack

To treat your cracked tooth in Santa Rosa, please phone Dr. Harry Albers’ office on (707) 575-1190 to make an appointment today.

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