A cracked, or fractured, tooth is when a fissure occurs in your natural dentition. The crack can be minor and unnoticeable, but it can also cause your tooth to break or split. Although anyone can shatter a tooth, it is especially prevalent in youngsters and the elderly. Common causes of cracking your tooth include trauma from accidents, butting hard objects, tooth grinding, root canal, and chewing ice and gum.
Tooth fractures can injure any or all of the tooth’s three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Treatment for a cracked tooth can vary depending on the location and severity of the fracture. Although some fractures don’t create any discernible discomfort or other symptoms, others may cause extreme sensitivity during chewing or other activities.
If you suspect a cracked tooth, it’s important to schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist like the providers at Smile Design Dentistry as soon as possible. Early treatment increases the likelihood of repairing the broken tooth, as well as preventing further damage down the road.
In the meantime, it’s also important to avoid eating certain foods that may do even more damage.
Foods to Avoid Before Seeing Your Dentist
It’s important to keep away from specific foods before your dentist can assess your fractured tooth — not only to reduce your discomfort, but also to lower the chance of further injury.
Some types of foods you should avoid while suffering from a cracked tooth include:
- Very cold or hot foods and beverages. Temperature extremes can cause discomfort in damaged or cracked teeth.
- Sugary foods. Sugar might irritate a fractured tooth’s exposed inner layer.
- Acidic foods. Acidic foods and beverages, such as vinegar, tomatoes and citrus juice, could irritate the tooth’s nerves.
- Hard foods. Nuts, hard candy, and other hard foods can cause more tooth damage. If a tooth is broken, try to avoid biting down or chewing with it until it is repaired.
Foods to Avoid After Treatment
After visiting your dentist and undergoing surgery or other treatment for a cracked tooth, stick to soft foods for the first several days to allow optimal healing. Keep off the menu any chewy, sticky, tough, or crunchy food items that you would after any oral procedure.
If you’re recovering from treatment for a fractured tooth and on a soft-food diet, the following types of foods are off-limits (and when in doubt, keep it out — of your mouth, that is).
Avoid hard-to-chew starches, including:
- Cereal, toast, and crackers
- Anything containing dried fruits, nuts, or seeds
- Corn on the cob, non-whipped potatoes, and crunchy chips
- Crusty or chewy breads, like sourdough, French bread, or bagels
As a rule, stay away from pretty much all raw veggies, as most have some degree of crisp snap to them. If you can’t mash it, it’s probably best to opt for something else.
Don’t bite into any hard or stringy fruits, such as:
- Any fruit with a skin
Plenty of proteins can be tough, stringy, boned, or encased in a skin, all of which is bad news for both cracked and healing dentition. Here are some examples:
- Beef jerky
- Sausage or hot dogs
- Pork chops
- Crunchy peanut butter
Foods to Eat Before Seeing Your Dentist
Soft foods that require minimal or no chewing to swallow are the way to go while you’re waiting to have a dentist, such as those at Smile Design, examine your cracked tooth. This will ensure you cause minimal disturbance to the affected area.
Soft foods to eat before you have your cracked tooth looked at include:
- Soft dairy
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft fish
- High-calorie drinks
- Mashed or whipped potatoes
Foods to Eat After Treatment
For several days after your dentist treats your cracked tooth, only liquids and soft foods should be on the menu. It’s difficult to feel full and receive the right nourishment on a soft-food diet, so try to be mindful about your eating — there are many options to choose from to ensure you maintain a healthy diet and don’t disrupt the healing process. Here are a few ideas:
Some grains become soft when fully cooked, and can be ideal choices after a dental procedure. They include:
- Bread, cereals, muffins, pancakes, and waffles
- Some (soft and/or moist) cereals
- Rice, pasta/noodles
- Soup with saltine crackers
Vegetables and Fruits
There are plenty of healthy and soft fruits you can choose from:
- Fruit in cans
- Baked/cooked fruits
- Fruits without a skin, such as bananas or peaches
- Cooked/mashed vegetables
Examples of soft proteins include:
- Scrambled, hard or soft-boiled eggs
- Meat that is easy to chew, such as fish or chopped/ground fowl
- Soup with small pieces of meat
- Soft tofu
- Baked beans
Most dairy products are soft, so there are plenty of tasty, calcium-rich choices available here:
- Thinly sliced or melted cheese
- Ricotta or cottage cheese
- Milk or milkshakes
- Ice cream
While healing, eat foods that have a soft feel and are nourishing. Talk to your dentist about creating a plant to add additional foods to your diet as you heal from your treatment. Start with semi-soft meals, and work your way up to your regular diet and usual chewing.
Most people should be able to resume normal eating habits a few weeks after dental treatment for a fractured tooth. If your procedure was complicated, the schedule will be longer, but your dentist will let you know what to expect well ahead of time. If you have any concerns about your specific healing process, you can always seek further guidance from your oral surgeon.
Tooth Sensitivity Due to Oral Surgery
Possible discomfort caused by hot, cold, sour or sweet foods and drinks, as well as breathing cold air, is to be expected after any extensive dental procedure. It is normal to experience this sensitivity, but there are ways to decrease it, including:
- For the first several days, eat soft meals. Because pressure is a common cause of sensitivity during such a period, eating softer foods, like pasta, yogurt, and soups may be beneficial to your recovery.
- Switch sides of your mouth. When you initially start eating following dental treatment, chew on the side of your mouth opposite where the work was done. Slowly and gently begin to chew on the treated tooth again over time.
- Try medication, if advised. If any sensitivity occurs after an oral surgery, it should be modest and only last a few days. Many individuals can relieve their pain by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Get Compassionate, Specialized Dental Care with Smile Design
As soon as you suspect you might have a cracked tooth, get in touch with Smile Design Dentistry for effective treatment options and advice. One of our dentists will examine your teeth and recommend specific choices based on your unique state and symptoms. If the tooth fracture reaches the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, we may require a panoramic radiography test to study the tooth’s internal structure for treatment. We will then determine the best techniques to treat your fracture, being sure to involve you in choosing your most preferred method.
Early detection and treatment are critical in preventing further damage and even potential tooth loss. It improves your attractiveness, confidence, and ability to enjoy your favorite dishes without difficulties. If you notice a crack, swelling, pain or sensitivity in your tooth, seek professional assistance immediately. Contact us today to book an appointment.