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Nov3

2019

Arrrgh! I’ve cracked my tooth!

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cracked tooth at Taree Dental Care

Have you ever had a cracked tooth? 🦷

You are not alone – a cracked tooth is a pretty common dental issue – especially as we age.  Sometimes it happens from something as simple as biting into an apple or a piece of ice. Or biting your pen.

Understanding the signs, symptoms and treatments of a cracked tooth – and how you can help prevent them – is very important.  But if you do notice a chip or a crack in your tooth, come and see us straight away.  If you have sensitivity and pain, there may even be an infection so you will need immediate treatment.

A cracked tooth will not heal on its own – and early treatment may be the best chance to save your tooth.

How do I know if I have a cracked tooth?

It can be hard to tell if your tooth is cracked and sometimes there may be very little physical evidence, or it may not be visible to the naked eye. ️

You might experience:

  •       Pain when chewing
  •       Constant toothache
  •       Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks

What are the different types of cracked tooth?

Not all tooth cracks are the same. Some are minor and require minimal attention, while others are very serious and require urgent treatment.

  • Cracked tooth

This is a crack which runs from the edge of the tooth towards the tooth’s root. A cracked tooth is not completely split in half, but damage is often done to the inner tissue of the tooth – and it can lead to infection if untreated.

  • Craze lines

Craze lines are small, painless cracks to the exterior of the tooth. Most adults will have some craze lines on their enamel. This kind of crack is not dangerous and doesn’t need treatment.

  • Cracked cusp

A cracked cusp can lead to tooth breakage so should always be taken seriously. This is when the cusp, or the pointed bit of your tooth, becomes cracked, causing sharp pain when eating.

  • Split tooth

A split tooth is when a tooth splits vertically (from the root upwards) into two pieces. This can often be a complication of an untreated cracked tooth and usually requires removal of the tooth. 

What sort of things can cause teeth to crack?

There are a number of ways you can crack a tooth:

  •       Grinding your teeth
  •        Biting into hard things
  •       Clenching your jaw
  •       Injury or accident
  •       Weakening of the tooth through gum disease
  •       Teeth with large fillings
  •       Extreme hot and cold temperature changes in the mouth.

How will my cracked tooth be fixed?

How your cracked tooth can be fixed depends on the severity and location of the crack. Different treatments include:

  • Polishing

For a minor enamel crack your tooth may simply be polished to remove the crack.

  • Veneers

Veneers are hard covers which are adhered to your tooth’s surface and protect the tooth.

  • Bonding

Bonding involves filling the crack with hard resin. This may only be suitable for front teeth as molars are under a lot more stress.

  • Crowns

Crowns can be used for deeper cracks, but ones which don’t reach the soft centre of the tooth.

  • Root Canal

If you’re unlucky enough to have the crack reach all the way to the centre of your tooth you may need root canal treatment.

  • Dental Implants

In the most severe cases your cracked tooth may have to be removed and replaced with a dental implant. 

How do I avoid cracking my teeth?

You can minimise your risk by:

  • Avoid biting into hard things (not just food but things like pens and fingernails that you might absent-mindedly chew on)
  • Only use your teeth for chewing, don’t try to open things with your teeth (if you see a child or someone you know open a bottle with their mouth, please tell them NOT to!)
  • If you think you might grind or clench your teeth at night you should talk to us about a night-guard
  • Consider wearing a custom-made mouth guard when playing sport.  (If you don’t have one of these, we can help!)

What do I do if I have a cracked tooth?

If you leave a cracked tooth untreated it can cause extreme pain, sensitivity and infection.  Worse case scenario it can also lead to the loss of the tooth – and you don’t want that to happen.  

Early intervention is ABSOLUTE key.

If you suspect you may have a cracked tooth don’t wait –  book an appointment to see us NOW at Taree Dental Care on 6550 0960.

You will save yourself pain, and considerable expense, if you get it treated immediately.

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