A cracked tooth can be a painful and frightening experience, but it’s definitely not a rare condition or reason for undue worry. The cracks begin as little lines on the tooth surface, eventually growing over time. You will start to experience normal wear and tear, but this shouldn’t worry you if cracks do not extend to the inner part of the tooth.
So how do you fix a cracked tooth? If you are concerned about your cracked tooth, are already in pain, or notice unusual sensitivity and don’t know what to do to alleviate it, don’t fret. Seek dental care immediately. The dentist will examine the tooth and determine the leading cause of the cracks. Depending on the extent of the tooth damage, a dentist at a leading provider like Florida’s family-owned Smile Design may suggest suitable dental procedures as treatment.
How to Deal with a Cracked Tooth
If you have a cracked tooth, you are probably asking, “Do I need some sort of dental or surgical treatment?” First, you probably do not require serious treatment if you do not feel pain or sensitivity when chewing or eating. However, it isn’t easy to determine whether you need treatment or not, even if you do not feel pain.
Sometimes, delayed tooth examination could cause the cracks to go deeper into the tooth surface, leading to more issues in the long run. Therefore, it’s always best to consult a dental professional as early as possible for any potential cracked or damaged dentition.
Tooth fracture is another term for cracked tooth, or cracked tooth syndrome (CTS). It is a break or crack that appears on the outer surface, or enamel, of the tooth.
Tooth fractures can be small and harmless. In some cases, however, a tooth fracture causes the tooth to break or split, which may also be painful.
These cases are most common in young children and older adults, although anyone can develop a cracked tooth. If the tooth doesn’t get treated in time, it can cause infection or tooth loss, depending on the fracture, which may lead to the need for emergency dental care.
So again, if you notice a cracked tooth, seek medical advice right away. Get in touch and have a dentist examine your tooth, diagnose its condition and advise on the way forward.
Common Causes of Tooth Fracture
Here are some of the most common causes of tooth fractures.
- Tooth grinding
- Chewing gum and ice
- Biting hard foods or objects
- Root canal, which weakens the tooth
- Trauma from accidents, sports injuries, or physical violence
While some tooth fractures aren’t a cause for alarm, it might be challenging to determine the extent of the tooth damage if you do not feel pain, sensitivity, or swelling. Your dentist will examine your tooth and decide whether or not you need treatment, and what type, depending on the severity and the location of the damage.
You do not want to take chances by keeping a cracked tooth untreated, because it might lead to more complications. Most respected dental practices treat children and adults of all ages for cracked tooth syndrome.
Different Types of Tooth Fractures
There are several different types of tooth fractures.
- Vertical root fracture: This fracture occurs when part of the tooth breaks below the gum line due to nerve death in the tooth. A vertical tooth fracture may not cause immediate pain, but it can worsen with time without treatment.
- Vertical apical root fracture: This fracture occurs at the tip of the root, and it is excruciating because fragments put pressure on the bone tissue. It can require a root canal to fix the issue and ease the pain.
- Oblique supragingival fracture: This fracture doesn’t go below the gum line, and occurs when someone bites a hard object. It comes with little pain, which tends to subside with time when the fractured part breaks off.
- Oblique subgingival fracture: These fractures extend below the gum line and stay in place after the fractured tooth breaks off, often causing a high amount of pain. However, it may take years before a patient starts experiencing the discomfort.
Cracked Tooth Pain
Some people experience cracked tooth pain that comes and goes, while others do not. The pain can become severe and constant with time, though, if there is no prompt treatment.
If you start feeling pain in your tooth, do not wait further. Book an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.
Cracked Tooth Symptoms and Severity
Tooth cracks cause different symptoms. Some symptoms are harmless and do not require treatment, while others require prompt treatment. Here are some of the symptoms someone with a cracked tooth might experience:
- Erratic pain when eating or chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Swollen gums near the cracked tooth
- Pain that comes and goes without cause (chewing)
If you notice any of the above symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible. It is best to get treated sooner for a better outcome. After treatment, your cracked tooth may continue to function as it should.
Cracked Tooth Treatment
Treatment of cracked tooth syndrome depends on the severity and the location of the tooth. It is always best to visit your dentist once you notice a cracked tooth. Self-examination, diagnosis, and medication may not help if you do not know the root cause of the issue and the extent of the damage.
Visiting a dentist is an excellent option to prevent further damage to your tooth.
Cracked Tooth Treatment Options
A dentist will examine your tooth closely and decide on specific treatment options depending on your tooth’s condition and symptoms.
If the tooth fracture enters the pulp, or inner part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels, a panoramic radiography (two-dimensional X-ray) examination may be required to inspect the tooth’s internal structure for effective treatment planning. Below are several treatment options.
- Gluing the cracked back tooth on
- Using plastic resin to repair the crack (bonding)
- Fitting a dental crown over the damaged tooth using a color that matches the natural dentition
- If the cracks aren’t painful and do not affect your appearance, the dentist may advise you to leave them alone
In extreme cases where the cracks are large, the dentist may remove the tooth. Contact Smile Design today for suitable treatment options if you are concerned about your cracked tooth and do not know what to do.
Seek Specialized Dental Care
Early detection and prompt treatment are vital in saving your teeth from further damage and related infections. It also restores your appearance and confidence. If you notice tooth pain, sensitivity, and swelling, seek treatment. Get your cracked tooth emergency repair at Smile Design Dentistry in Central Florida.
Contact Smile Design to book an appointment.