A tooth can crack for a number of reasons. Teeth can be cracked from biting down on something hard, grinding your teeth, or from a large force during an accident. Teeth can also crack from crazing, which is a thinning of the outer enamel layer of a tooth. These cracks are usually discovered when a patient has a routine dental checkup.
What Causes Cracked Teeth?
There are a few different causes of cracked teeth. Generally, people experience chipped teeth as a result of biting down on something hard, such as ice or cracking your tooth while eating. You can also crack your teeth as a result of grinding. Grinding, also known as bruxism, is a subconscious behavior that occurs when individuals clench their teeth together, and it can cause wear, fractures, and chipped teeth.
Other causes of cracked teeth include:
- Tooth decay that weakens the tooth, leaving it vulnerable to breaking or cracking
- Tooth damage due to trauma, such as an accident or fall
- Tooth damage due to previous treatment, such as after undergoing root canal therapy
Cracked teeth may be painful, especially if food particles get caught in the cracks. If you experience symptoms of cracked teeth, such as pain while chewing or biting down, see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will examine your teeth and take any X-rays needed to determine the cause of your cracked teeth, as well as the best treatment options available to you.
What Are The Symptoms of Cracked Teeth?
The most common symptoms of cracked teeth include pain, sensitivity to hot and cold, visible or dark spots on teeth and loose teeth. The symptoms of cracked teeth include the following:
- Pain: Many people with cracked teeth feel pain in their jaw, cheek, or teeth. The pain is often felt when chewing or biting. This pain is often sharp, acute, and sudden.
- Sensitivity: If you have cracked teeth, you will likely be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. You may feel pain when drinking or eating foods that are particularly hot or cold. This includes ice cream, hard candy, coffee, or ice water.
- Spots: If you notice that your teeth have dark spots, it is likely that you are suffering from tooth enamel damage. The enamel is what gives your teeth their white color. When your tooth enamel is damaged, you may notice yellow or brown spots on your teeth.
How Are Cracked Teeth Treated?
A cracked tooth can be painful and should be treated as soon as possible. In most cases, the crack can be repaired with a crown, but in some cases, a root canal may also be necessary.
- A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength or to improve its appearance. A crown may be made of porcelain, metal, or both.
- A root canal may be done if the crack is severe enough to damage the pulp of the tooth, which is made up of nerves and blood vessels. During a root canal, the damaged pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
- To treat cracked teeth, dental bonding can also be used. Bonding is a tooth-colored resin that is used to fill in cracks. Dental bonding can also be used to cover teeth that are discolored, misshapen, or out of place.
How To Prevent Cracked Teeth?
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day (preferably after meals and before bed) and floss at least once a day.
- Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, pens, or fingernails.
- Wear a mouthguard during sports and other activities. Mouthguards absorb shock and cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken or chipped teeth and injuries to the mouth, lips, face, and jaw.
At Greenwell Springs Family Dentistry, we offer high-quality dental care using state-of-the-art dental technologies. To learn more about our dental services, call Dentist Greenwell Springs, LA at (225) 261-0043 or visit our dental office located at 14127 Greenwell Springs Road, Central, LA 70739.