If you hear ‘cracked tooth,’ you can guess what it is. As the name suggests, it means a tooth that’s cracked or fractured. But what’s shocking is its prevalence and its severity in the present time.
Even though it’s extremely common in children and older populations, it is emerging as a more serious problem in people across age groups. As per a study, issues related to cracked teeth are the third major cause of tooth loss after cavities and gum disease.
This blog post discusses everything you need to know about cracked teeth such as their causes, symptoms, types, treatments, and prevention. Read on to know everything about cracked teeth and how to prevent them.
Causes of cracked teeth
From sports injuries and accidents to old age and bone loss, cracked teeth can happen due to a wide range of reasons. Here are some of those.
- Trauma or injury to teeth: This is obviously among the most common causes of cracked teeth. Dental trauma or injury can crack teeth and cause fracture lines on them.
- Bruxism or nighttime teeth grinding: The pressure from bruxism can crack the teeth. A recent study found a direct correlation between bruxism and cracked teeth. People who consciously or unconsciously clench or grind their teeth are more likely to suffer from cracks and fractures on their teeth.
- Pressure due to misaligned teeth: Pressure from misaligned teeth and uneven bite can cause cracked teeth. Failing to fix misaligned teeth on time, can exacerbate the cracks and expose the nerves.
- Nail-biting habit: Cracks and fractures on teeth also result from habits such as biting nails or other hard objects such as pens or pencils. The habits exert massive pressure on the front teeth.
- Extreme temperature change: Sudden changes in the mouth’s temperature in the mouth can compromise teeth strength and crack teeth.
- Gum problems: Gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis can weaken teeth and eventually crack or fracture teeth.
- Missing teeth or gaps between teeth: People who have widely gapped teeth or one or more missing teeth are more likely to have cracked teeth due to intense pressure.
- Calcium deficiency: If teeth don’t get enough calcium they can crack with pressure due to brittleness.
- Old age: This is an unavoidable cause of cracked teeth. A recent study revealed that the prevalence of cracked teeth is nearly 80 percent in patients aged 40 years or more.
- Teeth with large fillings: Teeth with large fillings weaken and compromise the integrity of teeth. That in turn can crack teeth.
Types of cracked teeth
Cracked teeth come in various types and sizes. Some are extremely mild and unnoticeable, while others are much more severe and noticeable. Here are some common types of cracked teeth.
- Craze lines
- Split tooth
- Cracks extending into the gum line
- Vertical root fracture
- Fractured teeth
Symptoms of a cracked tooth
Some types of cracked teeth such as craze lines are asymptomatic and are usually not detected until and unless they are closely examined. But cracked teeth such as split teeth and vertical root fractures show the following symptoms.
- Swelling of the gum around the cracked tooth
- Pain while biting or chewing
Also read, Everything about Dental Emergencies
Treatment for cracked teeth
Cracked teeth can be treated in multiple ways. The treatment, however, depends on the location, the symptoms, the size, and the extent of the crack. In some cases, you need to see an emergency dentist to treat the cracked teeth. Some of the treatments are:
- Bonding: In this procedure, the dentist applies a tooth-colored resin material, which is a durable plastic material, and hardens the material with a special tool. It is a relatively simple procedure and the cost ranges between $100 and $1,000.
- Crown: These dental devices are placed on top of damaged teeth. Made of ceramic or porcelain, these cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per crown.
- Veneers: In this procedure, the dentist applies wafer-thin layers of plastic or porcelain over the teeth’s surface. Compared to bonding, this is a bit expensive procedure. Composite veneers cost between $300 and $1,500 each, while the porcelain ones cost between $1,000 and $4,000 each.
- Root canal: This can be a suitable procedure for an extensive crack that has exposed and infected the pulp. In root canal treatment, the dentist removes the damaged pulp and prevents the tooth from weakening and losing integrity. This can cost between $500 and $2,000 depending on where the tooth is located.
- Composite resin: This treatment procedure can hide the fractures and restore the aesthetics of the teeth. A simple composite resin procedure to hide craze lines or hairline fractures can cost between $350 and $600 per tooth.
- Extraction: This is the last option when the crack is so serious that it cannot be repaired with any other procedure. Attempting to restore it may harm the nerves and roots and cause irreversible damage. The cost for a tooth extraction ranges between $150 and $250.
- Others: Treatments such as whitening toothpaste and strips, professional whitening, using high-quality fluoride toothpaste, and maintaining good oral hygiene can help.
Tips to prevent cracked teeth
A majority of causes for cracked teeth can be checked with some really simple tips. Here are some of them.
- Stop clenching and grinding teeth: Clenching and grinding teeth are among the most common causes of cracked teeth. You can stop bruxism by using a nightguard or by making some lifestyle changes such as reducing stress.
- Correct misalignment: The pressure from uneven bite creates cracks in misaligned teeth. If you have misaligned teeth or uneven bites, you can correct the problems by using orthodontic devices.
- Quit smoking: Smoking cigarettes and tobacco products can weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to cracks and fractures. If you’re a smoker, quit smoking today. If you’re not, don’t smoke ever.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene and care: Proper dental hygiene will maintain teeth’s strength and integrity and will prevent cracks and fractures.
- Quit bad habits: Habits such as biting nails or any other hard objects such as pen and pencil can exert pressure on teeth and create cracks and fractures in them. If you have such habits, then quit those with mindfulness, therapy, and some professional help.
- Avoid extreme foods: Sudden temperature changes can create cracks in teeth. To prevent that, avoid extremely hot or cold foods and minimize temperature fluctuations.
- Eat calcium-rich foods: You can’t avoid old age. But you can fight its effects on your body by eating the right foods and taking good care of yourself. Calcium-rich diet can help you fight bone loss and weakness.
All in all,
When it comes to dental problems, cracked teeth can be extremely hazardous when they grow in size and infect the pulp and roots. That’s why it’s extremely crucial to take extra care of cracked and fractured teeth and get them fixed before they complicate into more serious conditions.
At TruCare Dentistry, we offer a wide array of treatments for cracked teeth. If you need an emergency dentist in Roswell, GA, or nearby areas such as Sandy Springs, Marietta, Milton, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, or Woodstock, call (678) 321-7575 or visit our website to book an appointment.