Arrrrrgh!! I have a cracked tooth!
Have you ever experienced a cracked tooth? 🦷
A crack in your tooth is a pretty common dental issue, so you are NOT alone – especially as we all get older. Sometimes it happens from something as simple as biting into an apple or chewing your pen. Ouch!
Understanding the signs, symptoms and treatments of a cracked tooth – and how you can help prevent them – is very important. But if you do notice a chip or a crack in your tooth, come and see us at Taylor Street Dental straight away.
If you have sensitivity and pain, there may even be an infection so you will need immediate treatment.
A cracked tooth will not heal on its own. Early treatment may well be the best chance to save your tooth.
How do I know if I have a cracked tooth?
It can be hard to tell if your tooth is cracked and sometimes there may be very little physical evidence, or it may not be visible to the naked eye. ️️
You might experience:
- Pain when chewing
- Constant toothache
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
What are the different types of cracked tooth?
Not all tooth cracks are the same. Some are minor and require minimal attention, while others are very serious and require urgent treatment.
- Cracked tooth
This is a crack which runs from the edge of the tooth towards the tooth’s root. A cracked tooth is not completely split in half, but damage is often done to the inner tissue of the tooth – and it can lead to infection if untreated.
- Cracked cusp
A cracked cusp can lead to tooth breakage so should always be taken seriously. This is when the cusp, or the pointed bit of your tooth, becomes cracked, causing sharp pain when eating.
- Split tooth
A split tooth is when a tooth splits vertically (from the root upwards) into two pieces. This can often be a complication of an untreated cracked tooth and usually requires removal of the tooth. 🦷
- Craze lines
Craze lines are small, painless cracks to the exterior of the tooth. Most adults will have some craze lines on their enamel. This kind of crack is not dangerous and doesn’t need treatment.
What sort of things can cause teeth to crack?
There are a number of ways you can crack a tooth:
- Grinding your teeth
- Biting into hard things
- Injury or accident
- Weakening of the tooth through gum disease
- Teeth with large fillings
- Clenching your jaw
- Extreme hot and cold temperature changes in the mouth.
How will my cracked tooth be fixed?
How your cracked tooth can be fixed depends on the severity and location of the crack. Different treatments include:
For a minor enamel crack your tooth may simply be polished to remove the crack.
Veneers are hard covers which are adhered to your tooth’s surface and protect the tooth.
Bonding involves filling the crack with hard resin. This may only be suitable for front teeth as molars are under a lot more stress.
- Dental Implants
In the most severe cases your cracked tooth may have to be removed and replaced with a dental implant.
Crowns can be used for deeper cracks, but ones which don’t reach the soft centre of the tooth.
- Root Canal
If you’re unlucky enough to have the crack reach all the way to the centre of your tooth you may need root canal treatment.
How do I avoid cracking my teeth?
You can minimise your risk by:
- Avoid biting into hard things (not just food but things like pens and fingernails that you might absent-mindedly chew on)
Only use your teeth for chewing, don’t try to open things with your teeth (if you see a child or someone you know open a bottle with their mouth, please tell them NOT to!)
- Consider wearing a custom-made mouth guard when playing sport. (If you don’t have one of these, we can help!)
- If you think you might grind or clench your teeth at night you should talk to us about a night-guard
What do I do if I have a cracked tooth?
If you leave a cracked tooth untreated it can cause extreme pain, sensitivity and infection. Worse case scenario it can also lead to the loss of the tooth – and you don’t want that to happen.
✔️Early intervention is ABSOLUTE key.
Give us a call on (02) 9484 7737 or book an appointment online. We promise to look after you.