Reasons the Root of Your Tooth May Need to Be Split
Posted on 2/22/2021 by Dr. Ahmed Matri
Cracked teeth can often be treated with methods other than extraction, including bonding, veneers, and crowns. But when a crack extends below the gum line, your tooth may need to be split at the root and then extracted. Read on to learn more.
What Happens When a Tooth Cracks Below the Gums?
If left untreated, a crack on the surface of your tooth can continue to grow and spread down through the tooth as a result of the force exerted from chewing. When this happens, your tooth pulp can get damaged; your nerve endings may become exposed, causing pain and increased sensitivity, and your tooth and gums can become infected as well. The fracture will continue to migrate down towards the root of your tooth if you do not seek treatment, which can result in a completely split tooth.
Split Tooth Treatment
Once a tooth has split below the gum line, it typically cannot be salvaged. In this case, we will need to split your tooth at the root and remove it completely. We will then discuss options for replacing your tooth, which could include a dental implant, bridge, or crown.
If your tooth has cracked above the gums but not yet split, we hopefully will be able to save it. In some cases, we may be able to salvage a portion of your tooth or the whole tooth. Either way, you will most likely need a root canal treatment followed by crown placement to protect the damaged tooth.
How to Prevent Cracked Teeth
Since cracked teeth can lead to infection and tooth loss, it is important to do whatever you can to prevent them. Do not chew on ice or other hard objects, as these habits can cause your teeth to crack and break. Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw can also wear down your teeth and eventually crack them, so talk to us about getting fitted for a custom mouth guard. Of course, the best ways to prevent cracked teeth and keep your teeth healthy and strong overall is to practice proper oral hygiene every day, use a toothpaste with fluoride, and keep up with your regular dental checkups. If you have a cracked tooth, call our office right away to discuss treatment options.