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Dental Cracks Can Lead to Exposed Tooth Roots

Posted on 6/21/2021 by Dr. David Welton
Dental Cracks Can Lead to Exposed Tooth RootsTeeth can crack due to injuries, aging, accidentally biting down on something hard, or bad habits like grinding your teeth. Cracked teeth can range in severity and the symptoms they cause, but you should always seek treatment as soon as possible if your tooth cracks or breaks, even if you are not experiencing any pain. One of the many consequences of not treating a cracked tooth is that it can lead to the roots of your tooth becoming exposed.

Why Exposed Tooth Roots Are Harmful

The roots of your teeth are not supposed to be visible, as they are usually concealed and protected by the gum tissue. These prong-long anchors contain all the sensitive tissues and nerve endings of your teeth. When the roots of your teeth become exposed, it can be extremely painful. You will likely experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, and you might also have pain and bleeding while brushing your teeth. Food debris, plaque, and bacteria can easily enter an exposed tooth root and cause an oral abscess or other serious infection. If a dental crack continues to spread into the root, you are at risk of losing your tooth.

Treating a Cracked Tooth

Early treatment is key when it comes to cracked teeth. Treatment varies depending on how severe the dental crack is, but often involves performing a root canal to thoroughly disinfect the cracked tooth and its root (especially if it is exposed), followed by placing a crown to strengthen and protect the damaged tooth. A crown prevents the crack from spreading further down the length of your tooth with the constant force of biting and chewing, and also protects your sensitive tooth root from infection. If your tooth is already cracked below the gum line into the root, extraction may be necessary. After extracting the damaged tooth, we would place a dental implant or other restoration. Call our office immediately if you have a cracked tooth.
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