Contrary to what you may have heard, a cracked tooth will not heal by itself. Some people believe it will as bones are capable of healing. However, your teeth are not made of the same material as your bones.
Fortunately, a cracked tooth can usually be dealt with and healed, but you will need the help of a dentist near me.
What is a Cracked Tooth?
When a crack occurs in your tooth, this condition is referred to as a fractured tooth, cracked tooth syndrome (CTS), or simply a cracked tooth. The crack might only be very slight and completely harmless at other times. On other occasions, it may cause a fracture or split in your tooth. Although tooth fractures are most common in children and those over the age of 65, anyone is capable of breaking a tooth. Visit a dentist right away if you think you might have a broken tooth.
How Do You Get A Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth simply means you have a crack in your tooth! Teeth have a central pulp, surrounded by dentin. Both of these materials are comparatively soft. Covering this is enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Despite it being very tough, enamel does wear down over time, especially if you don’t look after your teeth properly.
Once the enamel is weakened, it is relatively easy to crack a tooth. This can be a sudden and noticeable thing, such as when you bite a popcorn kernel. Or, if the enamel is sufficiently weakened, it may take very little to crack it. You may not even notice at the time.
What Portions of a Tooth Are Susceptible to Cracking?
Teeth are composed of two different parts: the crown, which can be seen above the gums, and the root, which is located below the gums. Tooth fractures can harm any one of these layers, or perhaps all of them. The treatment for a fractured tooth is going to be different depending on the location of the fracture and the extent of the crack.
Even while some tooth fractures don’t show any symptoms, a damaged tooth can nonetheless be painful or sensitive. Visit a dentist as soon as possible. Receiving treatment sooner rather than later enhances the likelihood that a cracked tooth can be repaired.
Which Teeth Are the Most Prone to Cause Cracks?
The top front teeth and the teeth near the back of your lower jaw, generally known as the mandibular molars, are the areas of your teeth that are most susceptible to breaking. Even while it is more frequent for people to break one tooth, numerous teeth can be broken as a result of serious injuries or trauma. People who have dental cavities have an increased risk of breaking a tooth, even if the force that causes the break is not very severe.
Having A Cracked Tooth
Once you have cracked your tooth you will notice that it is much more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. It is also likely to be painful when you bite things. You may also notice swelling around the area.
In short, you will be aware of it and need to have it looked at. The sooner you see the dentist the easier it will be to fix your cracked tooth.
Repairing A Cracked Tooth
Your dentist will look at the tooth and, if necessary x-ray it to establish the level of damage. If the crack is very fine and has not gone through the enamel your dentist will simply monitor it. It won’t need any other treatment.
However, if the crack is deeper then the dentist will repair it. Small cracks are generally filled. The dentist will use the same composite that is used for fillings. This binds the tooth together and will be virtually unnoticeable.
However, if you have a large crack the dentist may recommend a crown. This will seal the tooth and give it additional strength.
Don’t forget, if you don’t have a cracked tooth dealt with the crack is likely to get worse. It will also be a perfect place for bacteria to enter your tooth and destroy the inside of your tooth.
Alongside this, your tooth will be weakened and is likely to break into pieces when you least expect it. Both of these scenarios can lead to the loss of the tooth and root canal surgery, or possibly removal and the need for an implant.
It is much easier and cheaper to see a dentist when the crack happens rather than waiting, dealing with the pain, and ultimately having to deal with a broken tooth. If you haven’t booked a dental appointment yet, it is time you did.
How Does a Cracked Tooth Get Repaired by Dentists?
Your dentist will use a plastic resin, which is a sticky organic glue-like substance, to cover the crack and restore the function and appearance of the tooth that was damaged. This procedure is known as dental bonding.
A dental crown is a prosthetic device that is often constructed of porcelain and ceramic. It is placed over a damaged tooth and protects it from further damage. For this treatment, your dentist will need to shave off some of the tooth enamel to ensure that the crown will fit correctly in your mouth after it has been placed. After that, an impression of your teeth is taken, and a swatch of the shade that corresponds most closely to the color of your actual teeth is selected. This information is then forwarded to a dental laboratory, where the crown will be fabricated.
Additionally, developments in modern technology have started to make it possible for some dentists to construct a crown on the same day as the patient’s appointment. When given the appropriate attention and care, these protective crowns have the potential to persist for many years.
If the crack has reached the pulp of the impacted tooth and caused damage to it, you may require root canal therapy (also known as an endodontic treatment). One of these procedures may be carried out by one of the following specialists: your dentist, an oral surgeon, or an endodontist. When the pulp of a tooth is injured, it needs to be removed. This procedure, known as a root canal, is performed so that the tooth does not sustain any further damage, including the formation of an infection.
If the damage to the tooth’s structure, nerves, and roots is so severe, the only choice left to spare the rest of your teeth from additional harm may be to have a tooth extracted. This is because an extraction removes the tooth completely from the mouth.
What Should You Do if You Can’t Get to the Dentist Right Away?
There are a few things you may do to provide yourself with some relief from pain or relief overall from sensitivity or discomfort if you are unable to see your dentist right away and are searching for some relief from these symptoms. It is essential to keep in mind that they are only short-term sources of assistance.
A visit to your preferred dentist as soon as possible is both the most effective treatment for a cracked tooth and the most vital therapy. Pain relievers that are available without a prescription can help temporarily dull the sensation of any level of discomfort. However, if you think you might need a root canal, you should avoid taking aspirin. You could also try a dental anesthetic that is available over the counter.
If you are experiencing excruciating pain, this can be used to temporarily numb the tooth in question as well as the area around it. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but do not consider this medicine a therapy option.
Self-care and prevention of cracked teeth
The most fundamental preventative action you can take is to practice good dental hygiene consistently. When your teeth are robust and healthy, the likelihood that they will crack is significantly reduced. As a preventative measure for one’s oral health, it is advised that persons wash their teeth twice daily, floss their teeth once daily, and visit their preferred dentist for routine checks every six months.
Keep an Eye on What You Eat
If you find yourself nibbling on the cap of your pen or your pencil while you work, you should learn to break this habit as soon as possible because it can be covertly harmful. Additionally, the act of biting or chewing on hard things such as nuts, ice, hard sweets, or uncooked popcorn kernels can be detrimental to the health of your teeth.
If you’ve never had it happen to you before, discovering that you have a cracked tooth can be a major source of anxiety and stress. The pain may be mild and unnoticeable, or it could be severe enough to prohibit you from going about what you normally do. It is imperative that you visit your dentist as soon as possible for an examination and treatment if you have any reason to believe that you may be suffering from a cracked tooth.