Endodontists are finding a greater occurrence of cracked teeth in patients in recent years so it is important to understand what this is and how to treat or prevent it.

There is a new oral health concern that is reaching epidemic levels and it often does not present with pain or discomfort until it has progressed to a more severe state. This issue is known as “cracked teeth” and was first described in 2015 as an epidemic by the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) because it is the third leading cause of tooth loss.

Chances are, if you have cracked teeth, you may not even know it. That is because cracks in the teeth generally cannot be seen without extensive magnification or specialized testing procedures.   However, even a small crack in the tooth can present a significant problem if left untreated.   In the early stages, small cracks do not have any symptoms. If the crack continues to grow, it can reach the dentin and allow bacteria to infiltrate the tooth and eventually reach the pulp, where it can cause more severe and painful damage.

split-toothCauses of Cracked Teeth

There are many different ways to crack a tooth. Some of the most common include:

  • Weakened tooth structure from previous restorations and treatments
  • Heavy mastication
  • Jaw clenching
  • Grinding
  • Injury or trauma

Cracks are most commonly found on the molars including the mandibular molars, maxillary premolars, and upper first molars.

How to Know If You Have Cracked Teeth

It can be difficult to identify cracked teeth until the crack progresses to the point of causing negative symptoms. However, endodontists have specialized training and technology that enable them to more effectively identify cracked teeth. This may require proper magnification with tools such as a surgical operating microscope, vitality testing, transillumination, periodontal probing, radiographic exams, and other specialized processes.

In some cases, a general dentist may observe cracks in the teeth, but because of the specialized tools required to identify them, it is best to visit an endodontist if you suspect you may have cracked teeth. There is no way to really know until you are tested, but if you have a habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw there is a possibility that you have developed cracks. It is important to identify cracked teeth early so you can prevent bacterial infections in the tooth and take steps to treat or protect your teeth so they can stay healthy.

About Professional Endodontics

Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes with treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.

Professional Endodontics now offers three state-of-the art facilities in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and a fully renovated Southfield location in the Comerica Tower. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental deliver systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.

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