What is Fractured Tooth Syndrome?
Fractured tooth syndrome appears most often on molars. However, front teeth chipping on the edges and slow degeneration of enamel and shortening tooth length is common when people clench or grind. Diagnosis of a fractured tooth is often times difficult because the tooth may have a microscopic crack that’s too small to show up on X-rays, or it may be fractured under the gum line which makes it challenging to diagnose or deep inside the tooth under old fillings. Fractured tooth syndrome is usually diagnosed due to the symptoms presenting.
Signs & Symptoms
Most people that experience a fractured tooth usually have pain or discomfort when chewing, or when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. Fractures can cause throbbing, sharp pain when biting and opening and if left untreated may cause tooth infections or loss of large pieces of enamel.
What Causes a Tooth Fracture?
A key cause of a fractured tooth is Bruxism. Bruxism is the repetitive jaw-muscle movement caused by clenching and or grinding of the teeth. Bruxism is often associated with Sleep Dysfunction and Sleep Apnea. Another reason for a fractured tooth could be caused by a large filling that causes the overall tooth structure to weaken and possibly crack while eating hard foods such as ice, candy or nuts. Cavities that undermine tooth structure can lead to tooth fractures. Another source leading to enamel cracks is thermocycling hot and cold food and drink often, over many years.
What Steps Should You Take?
It is important to have early intervention for fractured teeth. Preventative care is the best medicine. Having regular cleanings, fluoride treatment, and check ups will help prevent progression of cracks and correct issues early on. Most patients benefit from oral appliances that prevent force and Bruxism at night. Also, being evaluated for Sleep Dysfunction will help control Bruxism and is important for your general health. There are several treatments that your dentist can use to repair a cracked tooth. Crowns are placed to remove existing cracks in teeth, support weak tooth structure and give them the strength they need to function properly. Sometimes it is necessary to have a root canal if the tooth becomes irreversibly damaged before placing the crown. The type of treatment your dentist recommends will depend on the location and severity of the tooth fracture, so it's best to schedule an appointment as soon as you suspect that you may have a crack in your tooth.
Contact us for more informatior or to set an appointment here at Gregory Ln. Family & Implant Dental Practive.