All dentists are trained to diagnose and treat cracked teeth. However, some cracked teeth can be particularly difficult to diagnose, and may require root canal therapy to treat. At Vienna Endodontics, we offer root canal therapy for cracked teeth for patients in Vienna and surrounding areas in Northern Virginia.
In order to get a better understanding of why a cracked tooth is painful, it’s helpful to know a little about the anatomy of a tooth. Inside the tooth, underneath the white enamel and a hard layer known as the dentin, there is an inner soft tissue called the pulp. Inside the pulp is a variety of sensitive tissue including blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.
One can have pain from either biting down or releasing the bite. The enamel protects the outer portion of the tooth. When a tooth is cracked, chewing food can cause the crack to widen and this can cause sharp pain in the pulp. When the pressure from biting is released, the crack may quickly close, which can cause sharp pain as well.
When left untreated, the pulp can become so damaged that it is unable to heal itself. Your tooth will hurt when you chew, and also become more sensitive to warm and cold temperatures. Eventually, a cracked tooth may start to become painful even when you are not chewing. Extensive cracks can cause the pulp tissue to become infected. This infection can spread to the bone and gum tissue that surrounds the tooth.
There are several types of cracks that can occur in a tooth:
Unlike broken bones which can heal, a fractured root will never heal. Even with treatment, there may be some cracks that continuously worsen and separate, which results in the loss of the tooth.
However, treating a cracked tooth is important because it alleviates the pain, and reduces the likelihood of the crack worsening. After treatment, most cracked teeth can function normally and allow you to chew comfortably for years.
It is very important to diagnose cracked teeth as early as possible. Just like a crack in a windshield, a crack in your tooth can start small, but progressively spread. A cracked tooth that is not treated will get worse over time, deteriorate and eventually result in tooth loss. At Vienna Endodontics, we have the special training and experience needed to evaluate, diagnose, and treat cracked teeth which can help you avoid having them removed.
If you suspect that you are suffering from a cracked tooth, (experiencing sensitivity to cold and/or pain upon biting), Vienna Endodontics at 703-938-5920 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Citron, Dr. Nguyen or Dr. Sallen.