Cracked teeth come in many different forms. They could be easy to notice or show no symptoms at all. People in immediate pain due to a cracked tooth usually don’t wait before contacting a dentist—you’ll instantly know something is wrong! However, even those experiencing no pain should contact a dentist right away as well. Even small cracks in teeth can cause major issues when it comes to chewing. A Cedar Center cracked tooth repair can help prevent pain, both acute and chronic, and even the loss of your tooth.
How can you crack a tooth?
There are many accidents that could cause a cracked tooth. Sometimes, you might not even notice your tooth has cracked until long after the accident! Cracked teeth can occur after taking a hit to the mouth while playing sports or during a car accident. Other common causes of cracked teeth include:
- Large fillings that weaken a tooth over time
- Pressure from grinding your teeth
- Chewing on hard foods like certain types of candy, nuts, ice, etc.
- Aged and weakened teeth
Almost anyone can experience a cracked tooth, even if you take diligent care of your oral health daily. That’s why it’s important to protect your teeth as best you can, especially when playing sports. Invest in a good mouthguard if you play contact sports, and those who grind their teeth at night should think about doing the same. If you have a condition that makes your teeth naturally weaker, consult with a doctor or dentist about it to better avoid a cracked tooth. Usually, a dental professional can offer the best advice when it comes to prevention.
What can you do for a cracked tooth?
Teeth can crack in a variety of different ways. The exact location of a cracked tooth can vary as well. Determining the right treatment for your tooth varies based on these factors. That said, it’s usually best to clean the area of your mouth with the cracked tooth after noticing it. You can do so by swishing warm salt water around for a few moments. Bacteria can easily get into a cracked tooth, so the cleaning process is extremely important. It’s also best to avoid chewing any food that might irritate the tooth.
Unfortunately, this is the extent of what you can do at home. The next step is to call a dentist and get a professional opinion about how to proceed in fixing it.
Types of cracked and chipped teeth
As mentioned, cracked and chipped teeth come in many different forms. Determining the type of cracked or chipped tooth you have is best left up to the dentist. Once your dentist has determined the type of crack, they can offer the right treatment program. Here are the different types of cracks your dentist can evaluate and recommend solutions for:
- Craze Lines: Craze lines are small cracks that normally occur in the enamel. They will often heal on their own, negating the need for dental work. That said, you should always consult with your dentist to discuss the best treatment option.
- Fractured Cusp: This is a fracture of the top portion of a tooth. Previous dental work, like fillings, could cause a fractured cusp. Fractured cusps are common when it comes to cracked teeth and are usually painless. This is because fractured cusps don’t normally affect the soft center of your tooth, where the nerves are located.
- Split Tooth: A split tooth will have a crack going from the surface of your tooth to below the gum line. Your dentist will likely recommend removing a tooth that has split completely. While a tooth extraction may seem extreme, it can save you from a lot of pain and infection in the future.
- Vertical Root Failure: Vertical root failure cracks start at the root of your tooth and go to the top. These fractures are a bit tricky as they don’t normally cause symptoms. If your dentist notices a vertical root fracture, however, you’ll likely need the tooth extracted. Having your tooth extracted will help prevent infection.
- Vertical Cracking: Vertical cracks are usually extremely painful and can cause a major issue if they reach the soft center, or pulp chamber, of your tooth. You’ll want to contact a dentist right away, and prompt treatment may save your tooth.
What should I do if I have a cracked or chipped tooth?
If you’ve noticed a crack in one of your teeth (or pain accompanying one), it’s important to contact your dentist. A cracked tooth will only get worse the longer you put off having it fixed. This is true even for the smallest cracks. Seeing a dentist right away can help save your tooth and preserve your smile. If you’re a Cedar Center resident in need of a cracked tooth repair or other dental work, contact Bright Tiger Dental today.