Whether you’ve spotted a crack in a tooth or are experiencing an unexpected tooth pain, any damage to your teeth can cause long-term consequences for your oral health. While most cracks in teeth require very little dental intervention, there are some cases where you’ll need a root canal or extraction to remedy the problem.
Here’s what you need to know about this common dental issue and how Merrillville cracked tooth repair can preserve your oral health.
Why do teeth crack?
There are several causes that lead to cracked teeth. Some causes are more obvious and immediate, such as developing a crack from biting into a hard piece of food. Others are more subtle and cracks slowly develop over time. If you’ve noticed a crack in one or more teeth, it’s usually the result of one of these common situations:
- Chewing: Biting into hard foods including candy, popcorn, nuts and others can put pressure on teeth that causes them to crack. Eating these types of foods regularly can also wear down the enamel and edges of your teeth, making them more prone to cracking. Take care whenever you eat hard foods that require a lot of chewing.
- Accidents: A blow to the mouth can cause teeth to crack or can knock them out entirely. Minor to major cracking can occur if you’ve taken a blow to the mouth due to a fall, car accident, sports injury or other unfortunate circumstance.
- Grinding: Do you grind your teeth? This is a problem that may require dental intervention for a number of reasons, and the potential for cracked teeth is just one of them. If you regularly grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you can create microcracks in teeth that expand and spread over time. Talk to your dentist if you grind your teeth- the solution can be as simple as wearing a mouthguard while you sleep.
- Fillings: If you have previous dental work, especially fillings, it can compromise the overall strength of your teeth. Teeth with fillings are much weaker than those without, so be careful when you chew to avoid any cracking. If you take a baseball to the mouth, you’re bound to feel the pain of a cracked tooth immediately. Grinding your teeth may cause micro cracks that get worse over time. In either case—emergent or chronic—a visit to the dentist is imperative.
What can you do for a cracked tooth?
If you suspect you may have a cracked tooth, it’s best to visit your trusted dental professional immediately for an exam. Very minor cracks that don’t cause pain may heal if treated with care, while more major cracks may require dental work. Your dentist will examine the affected tooth or teeth thoroughly and suggest the right treatment plan for you. Serious cracks require serious dental intervention. Common treatment options include bonding, placing a crown, a root canal or—in extreme cases—complete extraction of the tooth. While none of these options are especially appealing and require some time spent in the dentist’s chair, they’re recommended for a reason. A tooth with major cracking can cause even more significant dental problems in the future, and getting the recommended treatment is an absolute must for preserving your oral health.
Types of cracked and chipped teeth
From crazing to vertical root fractures, there are many different types of damage that can befall to teeth. Your dentist will determine the type of cracking your teeth exhibit and will suggest a treatment plan accordingly. Damage usually can be categorized as one of the following:
- Crazing: This is the most minor form of damage, appearing as superficial cracks in a tooth’s enamel. Dentists usually won’t suggest treatment for crazing, but it’s definitely an issue to keep an eye on if the cracking starts to become more significant.
- Fractured Cusp: These cracks typically occur in teeth that already have fillings. Fortunately, fractured cusps don’t reach the pulp chamber of the tooth and won’t cause you too much pain. You should always follow up with a dentist to determine whether a dental crown, filling or other treatment is recommended. If the tooth becomes necrotic, a root canal is the most likely form of treatment.
- Split Tooth: A tooth that’s split into two distinct segments always requires dental intervention. If the tooth is salvageable, a root canal is the most effective form of treatment. If unsalvageable, extraction is required.
- Root Fracture: Oral trauma is the usual culprit when it comes to root fractures. This form of damage varies in severity and extraction is usually the best form of treatment. This type of fracture is also the most painful, and you should seek an emergency dentist immediately. A dentist will always make a concerted effort to preserve a cracked tooth whenever possible. That said, sometimes extraction is the safest option for dealing with a severe case. Follow your dentist’s recommendation for best results.
What should I do if I have a cracked or chipped tooth?
If you have a cracked or chipped tooth, regardless of severity, get an exam from a dental professional immediately. The sooner you act, the better your chances of preserving your natural tooth and your winning smile. For the best in Merrillville cracked tooth repair, contact Bright Tiger Dental today.