A cracked tooth can result from chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth at night, injury and can even occur naturally as you age. The most common cause seen clinically is fillings so large they weaken the integrity of the tooth.
Teeth can crack in several different ways:
Craze lines. These are tiny cracks that affect only the outer enamel of the tooth. They are common in all adult teeth and cause no pain. Craze lines need no treatment.
Fractured cusp. This kind of crack generally occurs around a dental filling. It usually doesn’t affect the nerve of the tooth and as a result may not cause much pain. Normally the tooth will need a filling or even a crown.
Split tooth. This is often the result of a root canal treated tooth without a crown. The tooth splits into two parts. Usually the tooth will be removed, but sometimes your part of tooth may be saved.
Vertical root fracture. This type of crack starts in the root and go up towards the biting surface. Chances are the tooth will have to be extracted.
In this case, the crack traveled right down to the nerve causing severe pain. Fortunately the tooth still could be saved with root canal treatment. This upper molar had 4 canals with a very fine MB2. The root canal treatment was very successful and a final porcelain fused to metal crown was made to protect the tooth from further cracking down.