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Cracked Tooth: Causes, Treatments, and Recovery

By Admin on November 24, 2017 in Blog
Cracked Tooth

Even though our teeth are tough and strong, still it is possible for them to be cracked. Cracked teeth can be due to a minor issue or a serious problem however, they are one of the leading cause of tooth loss in industrialized nations.

Cracked tooth can be caused due to variety of issues, including:

  • With age, the risk of cracked tooth raises, mostly occurring in people over 50
  • Pressure caused by grinding teeth at night
  • Large fillings can weaken the teeth and thereby cause teeth to crack
  • Chewing or biting hard foods can cause teeth to weaken. Example, nuts, ice or hard candy
  • Falling over
  • Abrupt changes of temperature in the mouth. For example, from eat something extremely hot and then trying to cool your mouth with ice water
  • Injury or accidents that affect the mouth, for instance in car accidents, sports-related injury etc.

Every cracked tooth does not produce symptoms since some are minor and some are serious. But the common symptoms include:

  • Teeth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet beverages and food.
  • Pain that comes and goes but is not continuous
  • Severe pain while chewing or biting food
  • Swelling of the gum around the affected tooth

In order to diagnose a cracked tooth, your dentist will take below measures:

  • Visual examination with the use of a magnifying lens to check the cracks in the tooth.
  • Ask questions about your dental history
  • Tactile Examination. Your dentist may scratch the surface of the tooth with a dental explorer. The tip of the explorer may catch the crack.
  • Use a dental dye such as gentian violet or methylene blue stains which highlights facture lines and makes the crack stand out.
  • Bite test is performed using orange wood sticks, cotton wool roll etc. If you have a cracked tooth, you may perceive the pain on sudden release of pressure. This confirms the diagnosis.
  • Transillumination locates a complete vertical root fracture. It probes your gums looking for inflammation.
  • X-ray. While x-ray doesn’t necessarily reveal the crack, however, it can highlight the poor pulp health, which helps to diagnose a crack.

Treatment may vary on the size of the crack, symptoms, and location. Depending on these factors, your dentist may recommend:

  • Bonding – In this procedure, a plastic resin or a tooth-colored resin is used to fill the crack, to restore the look.
  • Root canal– This a procedure used when the infection extends to the pulp of a tooth and root canal eliminates the infected pulp to prevent further weakening of the tooth.
  • Crowning – A dental restoration process to cap a tooth or dental implant. This is required to be done on large cavities.
  • Extraction – When the affected area or the tooth is severely damaged, then removing the tooth becomes the only option.
  • No treatment – When the affected tooth has a hairline crack in the enamel that does no causes any problem, then no treatment is required.

A cracked tooth is a common problem for many people. You can’t treat a cracked tooth at home, however, you can try to prevent one by practicing good dental hygiene, avoid chewing on hard foods and wearing a mouth guard if you grind your teeth or play outdoor sports.