Preserving your teeth at all costs is essential to maintaining your dental health. There are a variety of dental conditions that affect the teeth, some of which include broken teeth, cavities, misaligned teeth, crooked teeth, extra teeth and so on. Perhaps one of the most annoying types of dental conditions to have to deal with, though, is a cracked tooth. Fortunately, there are possible solutions to cracked teeth in most cases.
What Are Cracked Teeth?
Cracked teeth are simply teeth that have a crack in them. It’s important to note that a cracked tooth is different from a broken one in that it usually features a line running through the tooth rather than the tooth being chipped or completely broken off at the end of the tooth. People who have cracked teeth might experience excruciating pain when they bit down on something, and they might also experience sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Additionally, the offending teeth might simply ache all the time. The pain might be present all the time, or it might come and go. The reason why cracked teeth hurt is because underneath the enamel of the tooth is a center of soft tissue that is called the pulp, and when the pulp is exposed, then the nerves within it are as well, or they can at least by easily affected by air and extreme temperatures. A cracked tooth can require emergency assistance. In those cases you want to be sure to contact an emergency dentist near you and get in a chair as quickly as you can.
How Cracked Teeth Affect Dental Care
Cracked teeth affect dental care in many ways. For instance, in many cases, dentists might experience difficulty in discerning which of a patient’s teeth is cracked since the cracks aren’t always noticeable during their early states. Therefore, when the dentist attempts to clean the patient’s teeth, the patient might experience pain. Plus, cracked teeth can become infected and lead to even worse dental infections, especially if the infections spread into the gums and cause gum disease. Therefore, if you suspect you have any cracked teeth, it’s essential to seek treatment for it right away.
Treatment for Cracked Teeth
There are numerous types of cracked teeth, so before your dentist can determine a suitable treatment plan, he or she must first identify the type of cracked tooth that you’re suffering from. For instance, if you suffer from a minor crack like a “craze line,” then the dentist might lightly polish that area to smooth it out and keep it from getting worse. Craze lines are the types of cracks that are hardly noticeable, and they only affect the outer portion of the tooth.
On the other hand, if you suffer from a severely cracked tooth that has been cracked so badly that the nerve and pulp are exposed, then the dentist might be able to fix the problem by filling in the exposed area with a dental filling. However, if the nerve and pulp themselves have been damaged so badly, then the only solution for fixing them might be a root canal or losing the whole tooth.
What to Expect After Treatment of Cracked Teeth
Cracked teeth might not completely be pain-free, even 24-hours after you receive treatment for them. The reason for this is because unlike the other bones in the body, cracked teeth do not fully hear or repair themselves. In spite of all the treatment you receive, the cracks might still continue to spread, and you could still eventually lose the tooth. The most preventative way to keep a cracked tooth from progressing after treatment is to have a crown placed on it, but this might not protect the tooth forever either. However, for the most part, most individuals experience years of comfort and function after having their cracked teeth treated, especially if they take preventative measures to keep the crack from worsening. Some of the measures you can take to help stop the progression of the crack include avoiding biting down on hard objects like apples, pens and fingernails and avoiding grinding or clenching your teeth when you’re angry or stressed. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard to help keep you from doing so.
American Association of Endodontists. “Cracked teeth.” Retrieved on March 23, 2016, from http://www.aae.org/patients/symptoms/cracked-teeth.aspx.
Colgate. “Fractured and broken teeth.” Retrieved on March 23, 2016, from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/dental-emergencies-and-sports-safety/article/fractured-and-broken-teeth.
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