Fractured Tooth Roots: Symptoms & Treatment

fractured tooth roots

A root fracture is a traumatic injury to your tooth and may cause vertical or horizontal root crack. The location and direction of the fracture determine the outlook of your tooth in the long term.  Fractured roots aren’t always visible and are challenging to diagnose. They can result from chewing hard food substances or aging. Although the crack may not appear above your gum, the condition can be disturbing and exhibits various symptoms.


What are the symptoms of fractured tooth roots?


Fractured tooth roots are pretty common, and not all exhibit symptoms. In most cases, the condition presents no symptoms, which may hinder patients from seeking prompt treatment. The symptoms of fractured tooth roots are; sharp pain when eating or chewing hard food substances. When biting food, you may also experience pain after releasing the current bite. 


Fractured roots also cause sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks, which is characterized by pain. Can I tell you more? The sad bit about tooth root fractures is that they can go undiagnosed for long and may end up causing further root damage. In such a case, a root canal therapy can help save your tooth.


 How can I prevent tooth root fractures?


Tooth root fractures are common in sporting activities. You can prevent them by using a mouthguard; it covers your upper teeth and protects the soft tissues, tongue, and lips. Also, mouthguards cushion your face against blows, thus preventing tooth breakages and injuries to your jaw and lips.


What are the treatment options?


There are different types of root fractures. These include horizontal and vertical root fractures. Horizontal fractures can heal by themselves, and this is particularly true if the tooth is stable. However, if the tooth is mobile, stabilization with a flexible sprint may be necessary.


 For vertical root fractures, diagnosis is through clinical signs and radiographic features. Vertical root fractures don’t heal by themselves, and the dentist may use advanced procedures to fix the issue.


Here are the treatment options available:


1. Root canal therapy


This is a dental procedure that extracts the center of the tooth, known as the pulp. The pulp comprises nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. These help in the growth of the tooth. The process is dreaded by many but is performed under local anesthesia.


 Root canal therapy involves repairing and saving the infected tooth by getting rid of the pulp and nerves and then cleaning and sealing it for protection. Once this is done, the dentist or endodontist will place a crown over the tooth to strengthen it. 


2. Tooth extraction


This is yet another dreaded procedure. And you may be wondering why the dentist wants to extract your tooth when there are no visible signs of damage. Nonetheless, most fractured roots end up with extraction. And this happens when there’s no hope of saving the tooth. Therefore, tooth extraction would be the last resort, mainly if it helps avoid future detrimental effects on your tooth and gums.


In summary


Fractured tooth roots are complex dental conditions and aren’t easy to diagnose. If the crack extends to the pulp, a root canal procedure can prevent further damage by hindering the crack from spreading. In some cases, exaction may also be viable but should only be considered if the tooth can’t be saved using other procedures.