Cracked Tooth

Cracked tooth syndrome is where a tooth cracks partly, but not completely through the tooth or under the gumline. These cracks are often not detectable on xrays, which makes them harder to detect. Sometimes these teeth can be saved with the treatment of your family dentist. Others cannot and end up needing to be extracted. A cracked tooth can happen on any of your 32 teeth, however it is most common on molars (the back teeth).

What causes a tooth to crack? While your tooth is one of the hardest parts in your body, they are not invincible. Teeth can crack for a number of different reasons. Large fillings and possible teeth grinding or clenching weaken the tooth, making it more susceptible to cracks when using them for their normal day to day activities. Chewing or biting on hard items such as nuts, hard candy, ice and pen caps can also cause a tooth to crack. Occasionally, a fracture can be caused by trauma to the tooth or an accident.

Because cracked teeth are often hard to diagnose, a patient can have a cracked tooth for months before getting it diagnosed or fixed. The important thing is if you're having any pain or discomfort with your teeth to get into your dentist to have them take a look at it. Through a complete oral exam and xrays, your dentist is able to see if you may have a crack or fracture in your tooth. Many people who experience cracked tooth syndrome often complain of pain or discomfort when they are chewing or when they expose their tooth/teeth to hot or cold temperatures such as ice water or coffee. While some of the symptoms might be similar to those of a cavity, cracked teeth typically do not show constant symptoms that cavities do.

So, I went and saw my dentist and he/she told me I have a cracked tooth. Where do I go from here? Will it have to be extracted? It depends on the location and the severity of the crack/fracture to your tooth. Possible treatments include dental bonding, crowns,root canals, and extractions. If treatment is not done on a fractured tooth, the fracture can get larger and the tooth can start to break off. This puts you at risk for the gum around the tooth to get infected causing an abscess.

Is there anything I can do to help or prevent a cracked tooth? Unfortunately, once you have a cracked tooth the only way to fix it is to visit your dentist. However, there are ways to prevent the likelihood of getting a cracked tooth. Healthy teeth are the strongest and least likely to crack. Make sure to brush twice a day, floss, and visit your dentist twice a year! If you're someone who clenches or grinds their teeth in their sleep, make sure you wear a night guard to prevent cracking a tooth. And lastly, avoid chewing on hard items such as ice, hard candy, and pens to extend the life of your teeth.

Cracked teeth are a very common dental problem. If you think you might have a cracked tooth, call Dr Fattahi and his staff at the Hamilton Dental Group to get diagnosed and treated accordingly.

If you have a cracked tooth as a result of a very recent trauma or accident, contact your dentist immediately!

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When a tooth is cracked, a filling may not seal the crack. A crown may have to be placed over the tooth to hold it and the crack together. If the crack is not restored, the tooth will become sensitive to chewing pressure, or will eventually break. It is important to restore a cracked tooth before it breaks, because in some cases a broken tooth cannot be filled or crowned and must be extracted.
cracked tooth