Dental injuries such as chips, fractures, and cracks in teeth are common in the world of dentistry. Although fractures or cracks occur with all ages, they are more present in those above the age of 40. The severity and consequences of the fracture can range from minor, needing no treatment at all, to severe, resulting in root canal therapy (RCT), or even tooth loss. Chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth can be very painful and challenging to diagnose, yet oftentimes easy to treat. There are several types of fractures, a few of which are addressed below.
The first type of crack is known as an oblique supragingival fracture. This fracture is found above the gums, and normally happens when you bite down too hard on something. Normally, this fracture doesn’t involve the nerve. Once the fractured area of the tooth breaks off, the pain will go away. Although the exposed dentin may cause you some pain, you can visit the dentist and have it repaired. If the fracture is large, you may need to have a crown placed on the tooth to prevent further fractures from occurring in that tooth.
The second type of crack exceeds way below the gum line, and is known as an oblique subgingival fracture. Once the fractured piece of tooth breaks off, it normally remains attached to the gums and cause result in terrible pain until you get it removed. Once you have had the piece of tooth removed from the gums, the tooth will be similar to the supragingival fracture. It normally doesn’t affect the nerves, although as a result of the tooth area being lost, you may need to have a root canal to clean out the tooth before having a crown put on it.
The seriousness of this fracture depends on how far it has went beyond the gum line. If it has made it’s way deep into the gum line, you may not be able to save the tooth. The crack can be present for many years, before you start to feel any pain. To be on the safe side, you should go to your regular checkups with your dentist, as he can check for cracks and other problems.
The oblique root fracture is next, although it doesn’t involve the tooth crown at all. This type of fracture is almost always found below the gums, normally under the bone. If a root fracture is found near the crown of the tooth, it will normally prove to be fatal. Sometimes, you can save the tooth with a root canal, even though it is normally lost later on due to an abscess of the bone that surrounds the fracture.
The last type of fracture is the most difficult to deal with. Vertical apical root fractures occur with the tip of the root, and can cause you severe to intense pain, even if you’ve had the nerve removed with a root canal. Even though the nerve may not be present, vertical apical root fractures cause a lot of pain, which occurs in the tooth.
Normally, vertical apical fractures will cause you more pain than any other type of fracture. The resulting pain comes from the fragments putting pressure on the bone, causing the fractured pieces to strain. Just about the only way to get relief from this type of fracture is to get a root canal, as it will ease the pain and get the dead pulp out of the tooth that’s affected with the fracture.
Even though fractures are very common and very painful, you should never put off going to the dentist. Fractures can become more and more serious if you don’t do something about them, which is why you should never hesitate to go to the dentist. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the problem, and fix it before it has the chance to get any worse.