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Cracked Tooth: Symptoms And Treatments

Sep 14, 2019
Cracked Tooth: Symptoms And Treatments
While most people assume that a cracked tooth is a fairly easy problem to spot, this is not always the case. A large fracture or crack can be easily visible to the naked eye...

While most people assume that a cracked tooth is a fairly easy problem to spot, this is not always the case. A large fracture or crack can be easily visible to the naked eye. But more often than not, hairline cracks in teeth, which cause sensitivity to temperature among other problems, go undetected. That is until the symptoms become so persistent and annoying that a trip to the dentist becomes unavoidable.

If you have developed sudden unexplained sensitivities in your teeth, a cracked tooth could well be the problem. Read on to discover the symptoms you should be on the lookout for, and what treatment options are available to you.

Cracked Tooth Causes

Although your teeth are the hardest substance in your body, they are not indestructible. The following are the most common causes of teeth cracking:

  • Biting down on something hard such as ice or hard candy with too much force
  • A blow or knock to the mouth
  • Continuously grinding your teeth
  • Large fillings that have weakened the remaining parts of the tooth

Cracked Tooth Symptoms

A very small crack might not have any symptoms. These types of cracks are harmless and do not require treatment. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you may have a more serious crack that will need to be treated by a professional:

  • Sudden sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods
  • sudden sensitivity to sweet foods
  • Swelling in the gum around one tooth
  • Stabbing pains when chewing or biting
  • Unexplained pain that comes and goes
  • General pain and discomfort around the teeth and gums that are hard to pin down.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should schedule a visit to your dentist as soon as possible. They won’t go away by themselves, and will probably get worse. In fact, by leaving your cracked tooth untreated you are running the risk of infection which can lead to:

  • Swollen gums
  • Throbbing pain around the infected area
  • Bad breath
  • Sore and swollen neck glands

If your tooth does become infected, it will probably need to be drained of any pus buildup and you will have to take antibiotics.

Cracked Tooth Treatment

Although your cracked tooth might only be causing you occasional, slight discomfort, you still need to get it treated. If you don’t, as we’ve already said, you are leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay and infection

How your dentist chooses to treat the crack will depend on its location and the extent of the damage. Treatment options include:

  • reattaching the chipped or broken part of the tooth with dental glue
  • bonding the crack with a plastic resin
  • giving the tooth a filling
  • covering the tooth with a crown

If the tooth has cracked deeply and exposed the pulp of the tooth, you might need root canal treatment or to have the tooth extracted completely.

If the cracked tooth already has a filling, it will most likely have to be removed in order to give the tooth a thorough examination.

Our teeth are subject to considerable wear and tear during our lifetime and cracks are not always avoidable, especially as we get older. However, you can reduce the risk by simply acting sensibly. Don’t chew ice or hard candies. If you grind your teeth, wear a tooth guard. And above all, limit your soda intake like this, among other things, eats away at the enamel covering the teeth, weakening them and making them susceptible to cracking.

And if you do suspect you have a cracked tooth, don’t delay. Book an appointment with us today and we’ll diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of treatment for your individual case.