No one likes dealing with cracked teeth. They can be incredibly painful and always seem to happen at the most inopportune times. However, cracked teeth are common, so it’s essential to know how to deal with them should you ever find yourself in this situation. Read on to learn more about cracked teeth and what you can do to fix them.
What Causes Cracked Teeth?
Knowing what causes cracked teeth is vital because you can then take steps to prevent them from happening. Several things can cause your teeth to crack, including:
- Chewing on hard objects like ice or popcorn kernels
- Using your teeth to open packages or bottles
- Biting down on hard candy or other sweets
- Clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism)
- Trauma to the mouth from an injury or accident
- Dry mouth (xerostomia)
Symptoms of Cracked Teeth
Knowing the symptoms of cracked teeth is vital because you will know to see a dentist if you have any of these symptoms. Depending on the location and severity of the crack, the symptoms of a cracked tooth can vary. However, some common symptoms include the following:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold beverages or foods
- Pain when chewing
- Swelling in the gums around the affected tooth
- Visible damage to the tooth enamel
Diagnosing Cracked Teeth
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a cracked tooth, you must visit your dentist as soon as possible. During your visit, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth and may order x-rays to better look at the crack. Once they have diagnosed your condition, they will develop a treatment plan accordingly.
To prepare for your dental visit, it is essential to make a list of any questions or concerns you may have. This will help ensure that you get the most out of your appointment. You may also want to bring a friend or family member to support you.
Treating Cracked Teeth
Cracked teeth can cause significant pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, the crack may worsen and cause further damage to the tooth. Treatment for a cracked tooth will depend on the location and severity of the crack. Some treatments people might try are the following:
- Fillings: Your dentist may seal the crack with a filling for small cracks. This is usually done using composite resin, which is a material that closely resembles your natural tooth color.
- Root canal therapy: If the crack has reached the pulp (the innermost layer of your tooth), you will likely need root canal therapy to save the tooth. This involves removing the damaged pulp and sealing the space inside your tooth. Once this is done, your dentist will place a crown over the top of your tooth to protect it from further damage.
- Tooth extraction: In some cases, a cracked tooth may be too far gone to save and need to be extracted. Your dentist will only recommend this as a last resort after all other options have been exhausted.
Preventing Cracked Teeth
Preventing cracked teeth is vital because it can save you a lot of pain and money in the long run. Although it’s not always possible to prevent broken teeth, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk, including:
- Chew carefully: Avoid chewing on hard food, as this can put undue stress on your teeth and cause them to crack. Be cautious when eating hard candy or other desserts and opening packages or bottles with your teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard: If you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), wearing a mouthguard at night while you sleep is essential. This will help protect your teeth from cracking due to the clenching and grinding movements associated with this condition.
- Drink plenty of water: Keeping your mouth hydrated by drinking plenty throughout the day can help prevent dry mouth (xerostomia). This is important because a dry mouth puts you at greater risk for developing cavities and other oral health problems like gum disease.
- See your dentist regularly: Getting regular dental checkups and cleanings is essential for maintaining good oral health overall and helps ensure that any problems are caught early before they have a chance to become more serious.
- Don’t wait too long: If you think you may have a cracked tooth, don’t wait too long to see your dentist. The sooner you get treatment, The better your chance of saving the affected tooth and avoiding further damage down the road.
As you can see, many things can cause your teeth to crack. However, with prompt treatment from your dentist, you can save most cracked teeth. So if you think you may have a cracked tooth, ensure you book an appointment with your dentist immediately. These steps can help you maintain good oral health and avoid serious dental problems.