Your teeth are very strong, but they aren’t indestructible. They break or crack for many different reasons, including biting down on something hard, falling and hitting the teeth, having tooth threatening cavities, and fillings that have loosened or worn out exposing weakened enamel. Let’s find out how to know if you have a cracked tooth and what to do about it if it happens.
Signs of a Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth is not always obvious. Sometimes they can even escape detection in x-rays. Your tongue may notice the sharp edge of the crack first. Pain when you chew may be an indication because chewing puts pressure on the crack. Chewing causes the crack to open and close, irritating the pulp.
It hurts because the tooth pulp is soft and sensitive since it contains nerves and blood cells. The crack may widen, exposing the tooth to bacteria, which can lead to infection or disease. Cracks can also expose the nerves, resulting in pain from exposure to air, or hot or cold foods and drinks.
What to Do About a Cracked Tooth
If you have a cracked or broken tooth, you will need to visit our office for a permanent fix. There are different treatments for the different types of cracks.
• For minor cracks that just affect the enamel, your dentist may not feel any treatment is necessary, though the tooth may be lightly polished to smooth out rough edges.
• If the tooth is cracked down to the nerve, filling material may repair the damage. Often a crown is applied to protect the area from further cracking.
• If there is nerve damage associated with the cracked or broken tooth, a root canal may be necessary.
• When the break is caused internally from decay, we will evaluate the best treatment to restore the tooth. If the decay is severe, the tooth may need to be removed.
Regular checkups will help ensure that little problems don’t become big issues, so schedule yours today.