As dental problems go, a cracked tooth can be an extremely unwelcome surprise. Unfortunately, cracks in teeth can be common and caused by a variety of issues. Blows to the mouth, chewing hard foods, and sometimes a weakening of the protective enamel can result in cracks. To learn more about cracked teeth and how to cope with them, read on.
Act After the First Sign of Trouble
Pain is always a signal to our brains that something is wrong. A cracked tooth can cause pain when biting, when releasing a bite, and when the tooth comes in contact with hot or cold substances.
Identify Several Types of Cracks
There are several variations of tooth cracks. The most common is a simple a crack that runs vertically towards the root of the tooth. The line of the crack is smooth and seldom extends to the pulp of the tooth. A variation of the simple crack is a root crack. Root cracks begin at the gum line and extend out away from the root. This type of crack can go unnoticed but still can cause problems if the crack allows bacteria to invade the gum and bone area. If an infection should occur, treatment options often include root canal procedures. Here are some other types of cracks to watch out for.
Fractures—A fracture sounds like the same thing as a crack but usually involves a previously-filled tooth. With a fracture, a piece of your tooth surrounding a filling breaks away. It might cause pain, but not always. The fix, if caught early, is to re-do the filling. Sometimes the tooth requires a crown to make it stable, depending on the damage to the top of the tooth (the cusp).
Crazing—This pottery term applies to teeth too. These cracks are so tiny they are barely recognizable to anyone but a dental professional. In some cases, you might feel these tiny cracks with your tongue before you notice them. Fortunately, these are not actually cracks; they are more like etchings and should cause you no pain or problems.
Splits—When a tooth is so badly cracked that it appears to be split into pieces, the tooth cannot be saved. Rather than the result of an injury, a split is often the result of a crack that was left to worsen.
All of the above can be best treated by seeking treatment at the first sign of a problem. Ignored problems tend to result in a higher degree of invasive procedures. Speak to dental practices such as Brandywine Dental Care for more information.