People experience a cracked tooth at some point in their lives. Sometimes this cracked tooth may lead to severe pain or sensitivity. So the question that most people have in their minds regarding a cracked tooth is will it heal on its own, or what dental treatments can be performed to fix it? Well, before jumping over the answers to these questions. Let’s know more about teeth.
Our teeth have a significant role to play in our lives. Without teeth, we cannot enjoy eating our favorite food, smile, or talking clearly to people around us. Most importantly, teeth give us confidence and enhance our personality. It makes great sense to give the best possible care to our oral health. Gum disease and dental decay are the most common oral health issues that often result in tooth loss. To reduce the risk of such diseases, it is essential to:
- Brush your teeth daily (twice)
- Floss your teeth
- Maintain a low-in-sugar diet
- Visit your dentist frequently for regular dental checkups
Implementing these good oral hygiene habits in our daily lives can help to eliminate the chances of tooth loss from dental decay and gum disease. However, a dental emergency can occur anytime. And one such dental problem is a cracked tooth. Though our body has an amazing property of repairing itself, it cannot repair everything, and a broken or cracked tooth is one such example. A cracked tooth won’t get better on its own. It may get worse if left untreated. Therefore, it is advisable to see your dentist as soon as possible in case of a dental emergency (cracked, broken, or fractured tooth).
What is a Cracked Tooth?
A cracked tooth is a dental condition in which a tooth cracks due to an accident, injury, or general wear and tear. Any part of a tooth can be cracked, and the crack is visible in many cases but not in every case.
Causes and Symptoms of Cracked Teeth
There can be a number of causes of a cracked, some of them are:
- Chewing on hard foods
- Grinding teeth at night
- An impact to the face or jaw
- Physical injury
- A large existing filling, which can deteriorate the remaining tooth structure
- Weakened enamel can also lead to a cracked tooth
- A cracked tooth can even occur naturally as you age
In some cases, it may be hard to find out the root cause of the cracked tooth. A person with a cracked tooth may experience various symptoms that range from:
- Irregular pain while chewing food
- A sudden pain when the tooth is exposed to very cold or hot temperatures.
- Swelling in gums around the cracked tooth
- Teeth suddenly become sensitive to sweetness
- In some cases, the pain may come and go, and it becomes difficult to find the tooth that is causing the discomfort
If you experience any of these symptoms or have doubts about having a cracked tooth, you must contact dentist immediately. Leaving a cracked tooth untreated for a long time may result in more severe pain and discomfort over time. It can even lead to other dental problems.
How to Fix Cracked Tooth: Treatments
When talking about dental treatments for a cracked tooth, it is not always easy to diagnose a cracked tooth. The dentist may check the patient’s dental history and ask for the existing symptoms, especially when the crack is not visible. This can help to diagnose the cracked tooth. A dentist usually examines the teeth using the below-mentioned ways:
- Magnifying Glass: With the help of a magnifying glass, a dentist can identify the cracks in a tooth.
- Dental Explorer: Another instrument that dentists widely use is the dental explorer. It is a pointed instrument that easily catches any uneven or cracked edges on the teeth surface.
- Dental Dye: Dental dye is another easier way to find out the cracks by making the cracks more visible.
- X-Ray: Though it is quite difficult to find the cracks via x-rays, they can be used to reveal the issues in the pulp of the teeth. In case the pulp of a tooth appears to be unhealthy, it can be an indicator of a cracked tooth.
Any cracks in teeth are likely to irritate the gums. Therefore, the dentist will also examine the gums to check the signs of any inflammation.
After diagnosing the cracked tooth, the dentist will suggest the best possible treatment based on various factors like:
- The size of the crack
- Location of the cracked tooth
- The impact of crack into the gum line
Depending upon all the above-mentioned factors, the dentist may recommend any of these dental treatments:
- Bonding: It is a dental procedure in which the dentist uses a plastic resin to fill the crack to restore its original look and functionality.
- Dental Crown: A dental crown is a prosthetic tool generally made of porcelain or ceramic. Dentists use it to fix the damaged tooth. If proper care is taken, a dental crown can last for a long time.
- Root Canal: If the crack has extended into the pulp of the gum line, the dentist or endodontist may recommend a root canal treatment to remove the damaged pulp and restore the tooth. A root canal can help prevent a tooth from getting infected or weakened further.
- Tooth Extraction: In some cases, the tooth’s structure, along with the nerves and roots that lie below it, gets damaged badly; the only option that a dentist is left with is removing the tooth, known as tooth extraction.
Besides the above-mentioned conditions and their treatments, several people experience tiny cracks in the enamel of their teeth. If these cracks don’t cause any harm in any way or don’t affect the appearance, the dentist may suggest leaving them as it is without the need of any treatment.
A cracked tooth may not always be painful, and even in some cases, it is not harmful. However, if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms or suspect having a cracked tooth, it is advisable to consult your dentist immediately. Any ignorance may make it difficult for the dentist to save the tooth. Even complications like teeth or gum infection may also occur. Therefore, to prevent the situation from getting worse, always keep a check on your dental health. If you notice any discomfort or pain, make sure to take the advice of your dentist on how to deal with it. After all, teeth are the most important part of our body that deserves proper care.