Sometimes it is possible to have a cracked tooth, where the crack is so small that it doesn’t appear on an x-ray. You may experience some cracked tooth symptoms or discomfort, but the crack won’t be noticeable to your dentist, or it may present below the gum. This condition, also known as cracked tooth syndrome, occurs most often on molars and premolars. Read on to understand how to fix a cracked tooth.
What Are The Most Common Cracked Tooth Symptoms?
You are likely to experience some pain and discomfort if you have a cracked tooth but the pain probably won’t be as intense as if you have a cavity. The pain could be described as sharp and short and is most likely to be experienced when you bite into food, or when your tooth comes into contact with very hot or very cold temperatures.
What Causes Cracks In Your Teeth?
It’s also quite likely that your dentist won’t be able to isolate what caused the crack in your tooth, but it could be attributed to any of these potential causes:
- Teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy may be more likely to crack
- Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism) can result in cracks in the teeth
- Large fillings or restorations, which can weaken a tooth structure, may result in cracks forming.
How Is Cracked Tooth Syndrome Diagnosed?
Some patients may experience the symptoms and discomfort for a while before the cause of the problem can be identified. Cracked tooth syndrome may be notoriously difficult to isolate. Diagnosis of the problem usually involves a combination of a thorough dental exam, dental history taking (so that other causes can be eliminated), and radiographs may be required to make a sound diagnosis.
Why It’s Important To Treat Cracks In Your Teeth?
Cracks in your teeth weaken your tooth structure and make it more susceptible to greater damage, wear and tear.
Cracks may get bigger, and you also run the risk of breaking your teeth. Cracks can give bacteria access to the tooth root and put you at risk of bigger infection.
Cracked Tooth Treatment Options
Minor cracks in the tooth surface often do not require treatment and, with a little polishing, may almost be made invisible by your dentist. Also known as craze lines, these superficial cracks can be common in adult teeth.
The course of treatment you need will be determined by the extent of the problem, as well as the side effects being caused. Some restorative cracked tooth treatment options are described below.
How To Fix A Cracked Tooth
In the event that you have a deep crack that penetrates your tooth enamel, you will need to have it well sealed to prevent bacteria from penetrating it and causing a deeper infection. You may need a filling or a crown, depending on how big or deep the crack is.
If your dentist is concerned that the crack is very deep, that there is decay or the risk of a spreading infection, you may need to have a root canal to save your tooth. In the event that your tooth cannot be saved because of a severe infection at the root, you may need to have the tooth extracted. Tooth extractions are usually a last resort, and most dentists will do their utmost to avoid unnecessary tooth extractions.
Treating Cracks From Tooth Grinding
In the event that you have cracked a tooth because of grinding or teeth clenching, you will need to prevent future cracks, chips and damage. Your dentist may recommend wearing a mouthguard, or relaxation techniques and lifestyle modifications to manage this condition. If the cracks have occurred on your front teeth, you may consider dental bonding or veneers to cover them up, but as mentioned above, you will need to address the cause of the problem too.
Dental bonding involves the use of composite resin to fill in cracks while veneers are covers that are cemented to the front of the teeth to change their size, shape and colour.
How To Avoid Getting Cracks In Your Teeth?
Strong tooth enamel is essential to safeguard and protect your teeth from cracks, chips and fractures. To keep your dental enamel strong, you must brush and floss twice daily. You should also avoid using your teeth as a tool to open things, as well as biting down on hard foods like ice, hard candy and bones, as this can cause damage to your tooth enamel.
If you are concerned about a cracked tooth and need a thorough diagnostic, it’s time to get in touch. Please contact us: (02) 8776 3232.