A tooth that has a fracture or crack in it is said to be cracked. The crack can appear in various ways and be brought on by a number of things, including teeth grinding or clenching, biting down on hard items, or mouth trauma. A broken tooth can hurt and make it uncomfortable to eat or drink things that are hot or cold. The crack’s severity can vary, ranging from tiny surface fractures that don’t need treatment to more serious fractures that could spread infection and call for extraction or a root canal. It is crucial to visit a dentist for an assessment and the proper course of action if you think you may have a broken tooth.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to a cracked tooth, and in this post, we’ll look at them all.
Reasons for fractured teeth
A broken tooth may result from a number of causes, such as:
- Biting down on hard objects can cause a tooth to break. Examples of such objects are ice, hard candies, popcorn kernels, and pencils.
- Mouth trauma: Mouth trauma from a fall, sports injury, or auto accident can result in a cracked tooth.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth: Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, can overstress your teeth and eventually lead to cracks.
- Big fillings: Teeth with big fillings are more likely to crack, particularly if the filling is old or the tooth is already compromised by decay.
- Age: Our teeth grow increasingly brittle and vulnerable to cracking as we age.
- Sudden temperature changes: Eating hot soup followed by a cold beverage might cause a tooth to expand and compress, which can result in a fracture.
- Inconsistent chewing: Inconsistent chewing brought on by a misaligned bite or missing teeth might place undue stress on some teeth, causing them to break.
It’s significant to remember that not all causes of broken teeth are immediately apparent. A tooth may shatter occasionally with no apparent cause. It’s crucial to visit a dentist for an assessment and the proper course of action if you think you may have a broken tooth.
Variety of cracks
A tooth may develop any of the following types of cracks:
1. Craze lines:
These tiny, superficial fissures only harm the tooth’s surface layer of enamel. Usually innocuous, they don’t need to be treated.
2. Fractured cusp:
This kind of crack develops when the tooth’s chewing surface is partially torn off. The pulp of the tooth is typically unaffected, and root canal therapy is not necessary.
3. Cracked tooth:
The term “cracked tooth” refers to a tooth that has a crack that runs from the chewing surface down to the root. The crack could or might not go all the way to the gum line. This kind of crack can hurt and might need to be extracted or treated with a root canal.
4. Split tooth:
A split tooth is one that has developed into two or more pieces due to a long, vertical crack. The afflicted tooth must typically be extracted when this kind of break occurs.
5. Vertical root fracture:
A vertical root fracture is a crack that begins in the tooth’s root and progresses to the chewing surface. It may be difficult to identify this kind of crack and the afflicted tooth may need to be extracted. The right course of action depends on the kind of crack and how severe it is. If you believe you have a cracked tooth, it’s crucial to visit a dentist as soon as possible.
The nature and extent of the crack will determine the available treatments for a cracked tooth. Some possible treatments include:
- Bonding: Bonding can be used to fill in small cracks that only impact the enamel layer of the tooth and restore the tooth’s appearance.
- A dental crown is a custom-made cap that completely encases the tooth. It is utilised to safeguard and strengthen a broken tooth that has significantly lost structural integrity.
- Root canal therapy: To remove the harmed tissue and stop infection, a root canal may be required if the crack reaches the tooth pulp.
- Extraction: If the tooth cannot be salvaged due to the severity of the crack, extraction may be required.
- Splinting: Splinting can be performed to hold a tooth in place while it heals if a crack has made it loose.
- Inlays or onlays are custom-made restorations used to fix bigger fissures or fractures that are too severe for crowns but too small for fillings.
The course of action will depend on the crack’s size, position, and severity as well as the general condition of the tooth and its surrounding tissues. Your dentist will assess your unique situation and suggest the best course of action for you. It’s crucial to get treatment right away to stop future harm to the tooth and prevent potential complications.
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Additional things to keep in mind
You can take a few self-care steps at home to relieve the pain and discomfort brought on by a fractured tooth in addition to visiting the dentist. These consist of:
- Painkillers available over-the-counter: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can aid with pain relief and swelling reduction.
- Avoiding meals that are hard or crunchy: Eating soft foods and staying away from items that are firm or crunchy will help relieve strain on a broken tooth.
- Applying a cold compress: Putting a cold compress on the mouth’s outside helps ease pain and minimise swelling.
- Making use of a dental adhesive: Dental adhesives can be made use of to keep the tooth together temporarily and lessen sensitivity.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that these solutions are only temporary and cannot replace regular dental care. While they might aid in reducing the agony and pain brought on by a broken tooth, they cannot fix the tooth or stop additional harm.
Preventing tooth cracks
Even while you can’t always avoid getting a broken tooth, there are several things you can do to lower your risk:
- Steer clear of chewing on hard items, including ice, hard candies, popcorn kernels, and pencils.
- Put on a mouthguard: To protect your teeth from damage and pressure if you play sports or grind your teeth at night, put on a mouthguard.
- Maintain good dental hygiene: To maintain your teeth strong and healthy, brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily.
- Go to the dentist frequently: Routine dental exams can help find and treat any dental problems before they worsen.
- Avoid severe temperature changes: Sudden temperature changes can cause your teeth to expand and contract, which can result in cracks. Avoid eating or drinking extremely hot or cold foods and beverages.
- Correct misaligned teeth: Consult your dentist about treatment options if you have misaligned teeth or a faulty bite to relieve pressure on specific teeth and prevent cracks.
- Replace worn-out fillings: Old fillings can weaken your teeth and increase their susceptibility to fracture. Ask your dentist whether any old fillings need to be replaced.
You may help lower your risk of developing a broken tooth and keep good oral health by following these actions.
An uncomfortable and potentially severe dental problem is a cracked tooth. Numerous things, such as biting down on hard objects, mouth injuries, teeth clenching or grinding, large fillings, ageing, temperature changes, and uneven chewing, might contribute to this condition.
A tooth may develop craze lines, fractured cusps, cracked teeth, split teeth, and vertical root fractures, among other sorts of cracks. The best course of action will depend on the form and severity of the crack and may involve bonding, dental crowns, root canal treatments, extraction, splinting, or inlays/onlays.
Even though it’s not always possible to prevent a cracked tooth, you can take precautions to lessen your risk, such as refraining from chewing on hard objects, wearing a mouthguard, maintaining good oral hygiene, scheduling routine dental visits, avoiding temperature extremes, correcting misaligned teeth, and replacing old fillings. It’s critical to seek quick dental care if you believe you have a cracked tooth. To assist stop further tooth damage and related issues, your dentist can assess your unique situation and advise you on the best course of action.
A Cracked tooth won’t be able to heal on its own. When a tooth cracks, the damage is permanent, necessitating dental work to restore it.
A cracked tooth can hurt when you bite down or chew, be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, and have noticeable tooth damage. It’s crucial to visit your dentist periodically for examinations and cleanings because some cracks could not show any symptoms at all.
Dr. Shraddha S. Chouhan is here. I’m an Indian dentist. I’m currently wrapping up my internship. I fell in love with human body health and its various aspects while working in the medical field, beginning with science. During my final year of dental school, I began practising yoga and learning about organic food, a healthy lifestyle, and the benefits it has on our human bodies. Learning more about organic food and its importance to our health has astounded me. Now I’m on a mission to learn more about healthy eating, living, and organic food.