Cracked teeth results in various symptoms such as pain, high temperature sensitivity, and bite pressure release. The pain can come and go, which makes it difficult to diagnose the primary cause. Chewing causes cracked pieces of your tooth to move, leading to irritation of the pulp. When bite pressure is released, the crack closes quickly and causes extreme pain. This damages the pulp and leads to consistent pain even when you are not chewing.
The crack extends from the chewing surface and vertically towards the root. It may even extend below the gum line in some cases. The pulp becomes irritated and permanently damaged, which makes root canal treatment necessary.
A weakened or vulnerable cusp may eventually lead to a fracture. The cusp breaks off or is removed by the dentist. These rarely cause damage to the pulp, which means root canal is not necessarily required.
When a cracked tooth becomes untreated for a period of time, a split tooth can result. This is identified to be a crack with distinct segments. The tooth cannot be saved intact, but endodontic retreatment can save a portion of it.
Vertical Root Fracture
A vertical root fracture originates at the root and progresses along the chewing surface of the tooth. They do not have noticeable symptoms, which makes them easy to disregard. They can be treated with endodontic procedures, but it is likely that only a portion of the tooth can be saved. In other cases, the entire tooth may require extraction.