A cracked tooth is a condition in which a tooth is cracked, broken, or chipped. The tooth may appear discolored and is often sensitive to heat or cold. A cracked tooth is usually the result of biting down on something hard or from chewing ice.
A crack in a tooth is a vertical or horizontal break in the thin outer layer of enamel called the enamel. Enamel is one of the hardest surfaces in the human body and protects the living tissue underneath, called dentin. If a crack gets through the enamel layer and into the dentin, it can affect the inner pulp of the tooth. This inner soft tissue can be damaged when bacteria get into the area and begin to multiply. The infection can affect the nerves and can cause sensitivity to hot/cold foods and drinks. If the crack goes deeper into the tooth, it can cause nerve damage and cause the tooth to die.
If you are suffering from sensitive teeth and suspect you have a crack, make an appointment with our dentist to determine the cause and receive treatment.
What Causes Cracked Teeth?
If you have chipped or cracked a tooth, you likely want to know the “why” behind it so you can fix it and prevent it from happening again. Here are the causes of cracked teeth:
Chewing hard foods: Crunchy food like ice and popcorn are tough to chew on and can weaken your teeth over time. Only eat these foods occasionally to prevent wear and tear on your teeth.
Clenching your jaw: If you open your mouth too wide when chewing or talking, you put a lot of pressure on the teeth and cause them to crack.
Grinding your teeth: Do you grind your teeth at night while you sleep? Or during the day while you’re working? Your teeth are under a lot of force when you grind them together, which can cause them to crack.
Biting down on something hard: One bad bite can lead to a crack in your tooth. Be careful when you’re eating. Don’t bite down on anything too hard, like unpopped kernels of corn, for example.
Trauma to the face: If there’s an accident that damages your face, or if you fall and hit your head, this can cause the teeth to crack.
Teeth whitening treatments: Over-bleaching your enamel can cause it to deteriorate, which leads to cracks and other damage. Make sure you’re only using a teeth whitening product in moderation.
Aging: The older you get, the more fragile your teeth become. They begin to thin out and become more brittle as you age.
Misaligned teeth: If your teeth are misaligned, they might rub against each other and cause wear & tear. Braces and other orthodontic appliances can help straighten out crooked teeth.
What Are the Treatments for Cracked Teeth?
The most common treatment for tooth cracks is composite bonding, though other treatments like dental crowns are sometimes used depending on the severity and location of the crack. If you are experiencing tooth pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you.
If a filling or crown is in place, root canal therapy may be needed if the damage extends to the inner pulp of the tooth. Root canal treatment removes the damaged tissue and cleans the tooth to prevent further infection and pain. After root canal therapy is complete, a crown can be placed over the affected tooth to restore its function and create a healthy smile.
If the crack has reached the roots, extraction may be recommended as the best option to avoid infection and further damage to the surrounding teeth and gums. A dental implant may be used to replace the missing tooth, so patients leave with a complete and beautiful smile.
To determine which treatment options are best for your particular situation, schedule a consultation with our dental practice today!
To learn more about our dental services or schedule a consultation, call Dentist in Woodstock, GA at (470) 601-7888 or visit Park Creek Dental Care at 8080 Hickory Flat Hwy, Woodstock, GA 30188.