A cracked tooth can be both painful and unsightly, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With the right treatment, you can get back to enjoying your favourite foods in no time. Let’s dive into the basics of cracked tooth treatment and explore what you need to know.
How Do I Know I Have a Cracked Tooth?
Often, cracked teeth can be difficult to spot, so paying attention to any symptoms indicating an issue is important. If you start experiencing persistent toothache or sensitivity in a certain area, it could indicate a crack in the enamel of your tooth. Other signs to look for include pain when biting down on the affected tooth and dark stains or fracture lines in the tooth’s enamel. This sensation may come and go, and some patients report an intermittent throbbing sensation near the damaged tooth. You may also notice that your gums are swollen close to the affected area. All the previous symptoms are known as cracked tooth syndrome or CTS. Learning how to recognise the symptoms of CTS can help catch small issues before they become bigger problems!
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors For A Cracked Tooth?
A cracked tooth can often result from an unexpected mouth trauma, such as a tumble or a strike to the face.
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a prevalent reason behind cracked teeth. This unconscious habit generates immense pressure on your teeth, gradually paving the way for unsightly fissures.
This pesky infection of your gums could cause them to recede, leaving gaps that may ultimately pave the way for tooth fractures!
Eating Hard Foods
Beware if you are craving hard candy or icy treats, as your teeth may be less thrilled. The excess pressure from these crunchy delights can cause your teeth to crack, so munch wisely!
Acidic Foods and Drinks
Indulging in acidic treats could lead to cracked teeth. That’s because acids from food and beverages can erode your teeth protective enamel layer, leaving them vulnerable to fractures.
As the years pass, our teeth encounter an increased risk of developing cracks. This is because, over time, teeth lose their flexibility and strength.
What Are The Types Of Cracked Teeth?
Based on The American Association of Endodontics, there are 5 types of tooth fractures, and treatment depends on each specific type.
Craze Lines (hairline cracks)
Small, superficial fine fractures in the enamel that do not extend into the underlying layer, the dentin. It is usually painless and requires only cosmetic treatment.
A fracture of the tooth’s biting surface. This type of crack is usually more serious and requires restorative dentistry.
A fracture that extends to the dentin but does not split the tooth in two. This type of crack can be serious because it weakens tooth structure and may eventually lead to a fractured tooth. It usually requires coverage with a crown.
A tooth with a large crack that extends from the biting surface to the root of the tooth, splitting it into two pieces. The treatment usually requires replacement.
Vertical Root Fracture
A fracture begins in the tooth root and runs upward until the gum line. This type of tooth fracture is usually painful and difficult to detect because it is not visible until it causes a gum infection. It usually needs extraction and replacement.
Which Teeth Are Most Likely To Crack?
You might think all your teeth are equally at risk of cracking, but unfortunately, this is untrue. While any tooth can crack due to trauma or decay, some teeth are more likely to develop fractures than others.
In particular, molars and premolars in the back of your mouth that endure grinding action from chewing are particularly vulnerable. These teeth tend to have dozens of little fissures already in their enamel, which dentists call developmental indentations.
Those indentations allow the teeth to absorb surface forces during chewing and shouldn’t be there for a naturally healthy tooth.
Moreover, teeth that have undergone heavy fillings or crowns also have an increased risk because the materials applied are not strong enough to withstand the force.
Can Your Cracked Teeth Heal On Their Own?
Cracked teeth can be a confusing problem to deal with. Unfortunately, the answer is usually no- you cannot heal cracked teeth on your own. If you are experiencing a crack in your tooth, it is important to visit a dentist immediately to prevent any further damage or infection. They will examine the severity of the crack and develop a plan to restore your tooth and alleviate any discomfort you may be feeling.
Is A Cracked Tooth A Dental Emergency?
It depends. It is an emergency if your cracked tooth is severe and you’re in much pain. You should visit the dentist immediately to assess the damage and get appropriate treatment before the crack worsens. However, it’s not an emergency if a minor crack doesn’t cause discomfort. In this case, you should still schedule an appointment with your dentist soon to get it treated as quickly as possible.
When Should You Visit A Dentist Immediately?
If you experience fractured tooth pain or any sign of infection, such as swelling and fever, you should visit the dentist immediately. Cracked teeth can lead to further damage if treated too late, so it is important to act quickly to minimise the severity of the crack. The earlier a cracked tooth is treated, the better chance the dentist has of restoring your smile and preventing future problems such as infection or decay.
What Can You Do to Alleviate Your Pain Before Seeing Your Dentist?
Before visiting your dentist, you can try these temporary measures to help relieve some of the pain:
- Avoid chewing with the affected tooth.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- Gargle with a warm salt water solution or an antiseptic mouthwash to cleanse your mouth.
- Avoid eating hot or cold foods.
- Place a cold compress outside your mouth near the swollen area to reduce inflammation and pain.
Remember, these measures are only temporary solutions and do not replace or delay the need to visit your dentist.
How Can A Dentist Diagnose If You Have A Cracked Tooth?
Cracked tooth diagnosis can present a challenge for medical professionals. Your dentist may recommend visiting an endodontist, who is an expert on the inner layers of your teeth, in order to maximise success with your treatment. Your dentist will begin by taking a full medical history and then progress to further steps to acquire more comprehensive information regarding your case.
Examine Your Mouth
The expert dentist will skillfully examine your mouth, scouting for any tell-tale signs of a cracked tooth. With precision, they will examine each tooth for minute cracks while keeping an eye on your gums for possible dental infections arising from root fractures. They might employ cutting-edge transillumination techniques to ensure a better view of fractures.
The dentist might request X-rays of your mouth to gain a better view of your teeth and detect if there are any signs of a crack. X-rays can help in locating minute fractures that cannot be seen with the unaided eye.
Use Dye To Check For Cracks
The dentist may apply a special dye to your teeth to check for cracks. This dye will help to show any small cracks that may not be visible on X-rays.
Ask You To Bite on a Hard Object or Do a Sensitivity Test
Those tests will help elicit the pain and confirm it is cracked tooth pain rather than any other type of pain.
After gathering all of the information, your dentist will be able to diagnose whether or not you have a cracked tooth and start discussing the treatment plans available for your condition.
What Are The Available Treatments For A Cracked Tooth?
Dental bonding is a type of treatment in which a tooth-coloured resin is pasted on the surface of a tooth. Then with ultraviolet light emission, it hardens. It is mainly used to treat small cracks.
Dental veneers are custom-made, thin shells that adhere to the front of teeth and provide a cosmetic effect. Veneers can be used to treat small cracks that involve only the enamel of the teeth.
A dental crown is a method of dental restoration that covers the entire tooth. Crowns can help restore the tooth’s function and improve its appearance. It is mainly used for larger and deeper cracks.
Root Canal Treatment
The root canal procedure includes extracting the pulp (the inner soft tissue) from the root canals, which are then cleaned and sealed. This is typically undertaken to address serious fractures such as vertical root fractures.
Dental implants act as artificial roots implanted in the jawbone to support artificial teeth such as crowns, bridges and dentures. They are often deployed after removing a heavily damaged tooth or teeth to restore normal function. Visit this website.
Tooth extraction is a procedure in which a tooth is removed from the mouth. Tooth extraction is typically used as a last resort when other treatment options have failed or when a tooth is so damaged that it cannot be repaired.
How Long Does The Treatment Take?
The time it takes for treatment will vary depending on which type of procedure is being done; however, most treatments can usually be completed within one to two visits to your dentist’s office over several weeks or months (depending on how extensive the treatment is). During this time, it’s important to take extra care with eating and brushing to not aggravate the area further while it’s healing. Your dentist may also provide special instructions for tooth care during this time.
Can My Cracked Tooth Heal After Treatment?
Yes, a cracked tooth can heal after treatment. Depending on the severity of the crack, successful treatments like dental bonding, veneers and crowns can restore your smile to its original condition. However, in cases of advanced fractures or deep cracks that reach the root canal, restoring the tooth to its original state may not always be possible. In those cases, replacing the tooth with a dental implant may be the best option. Find further details.
How Much Does Tooth Crack Repair Cost?
The cost of repairing a cracked tooth will depend on the type of treatment needed and the severity of the crack.
At the same time, veneers may initially cost $2,000 per tooth. Root canal treatment typically begins at $500 and can rise depending on the complexity of the procedure.
Dental implants are also an option and can cost anywhere, starting from $3,000. Get more details.
Whichever treatment you choose, it’s important to remember that investing in quality dental care can help ensure your teeth remain healthy and strong for years to come.
How Can You Prevent Your Tooth From Cracking?
- Stick to a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for checkups and cleanings.
- Avoid chewing hard foods or objects.
- Be mindful about clenching or grinding your teeth.
- Do not use your teeth as tools, such as opening bottles or cans.
- Wear a mouthguard when playing sports to protect your teeth from any trauma.
- Be careful when consuming acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits and sports beverages so as not to wear down enamel over time.
At Total Care Dental Studio, we understand the importance of a healthy smile. We know that facing a cracked tooth can be an intensely uncomfortable experience- physically and emotionally. Our team of highly-trained professionals has cared for hundreds of cracked teeth over the years and offers the most advanced techniques to repair those cracks quickly and with minimal discomfort. We understand your needs and strive to ensure your visit is hassle-free and tailored to your concerns. Make an appointment with us by calling on (07) 3186 8517 today. We guarantee you will have a pleasant experience and leave with a stunning smile!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Fractured Tooth (Cracked Tooth)