1. Cracked Teeth
A cracked or fractured tooth, which has wildly varying levels of severity, happens most often during sports when the player sustains an abrupt blow to the face. The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation (NYSSF) estimates that players who don't wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth this way during competition, and a tooth injury of this nature can cause various long-term problems.
A tooth showing longitudinal cracks could have what dental professionals call "craze lines." These are scoring lines in the enamel and aren't high risk for dental health. A cracked tooth, on the other hand, involves a crack or split that begins at the crown of the tooth and extends downward into the tooth.
Symptoms you might experience with a cracked tooth include:
- A sharp pain when you bite down, which dissipates afterward.
- Tooth pain that comes and goes, but isn't constantly present.
- Pain while eating and drinking, especially when you consume hot or cold foods.
- Losing a section of the tooth's outer enamel shell, which exposes the dentin and pulp and sometimes the root surface.
It's possible you don't experience pain at all, of course, and because a cracked tooth isn't always visible to the naked eye, you may only discover it during your next dental checkup.
If the crack is a vertical fracture near the tooth's center, it usually won't cause you to lose a section of tooth and expose the tooth pulp. But if the crack extends across the out of the tooth, it could affect the cusp, which is the pointed tips of the tooth, according to the American Association of Endodontics (AAE). In these instances, your dentist may diagnose a cuspal fracture, which could necessitate having the tooth extracted or performing root canal treatment to avoid bacterial infection.