Several behaviors and issues can lead to a cracked tooth. Sometimes, chewing on a hard object or food like a nut or hard candy can cause a crack to develop. Teeth may also crack due to grinding and clenching them. In other cases, a tooth may crack because of an accident like a blow to the mouth. Regardless of the reason, your dentist should assess your cracked tooth. The most appropriate treatment will then be recommended.
Cracked tooth treatment
Some symptoms of a cracked tooth include sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness, pain when biting or chewing, and gum swelling around the affected tooth. A crack in a tooth is not always easy to detect. These fractures are usually invisible to the eye. Sometimes, cracks may not even show on an X-ray. But the patient can help the dentist to identify the tooth which is causing the problem. A patient should look out for localized pain especially when biting into food or when the teeth are exposed to cold or hot temperatures.
Cracked teeth can cause many complications especially if a person does not seek treatment. One of the major complications of a cracked tooth is an infection. It usually spreads to the gums and bone. Symptoms of a dental infection include pain when chewing, fever, sensitivity to hot and cold, and swollen gums.
A person may also have bad breath or tender glands in the neck. The dentist may attempt to drain pus from the infection. An antibiotic may also be prescribed to help kill the bacteria. Treatment may also prevent further damage and even tooth loss.
Treatment depends on multiple factors. These include the symptoms, size of the crack, its location, and whether it extends into the gumline. Based on those factors the dental provider may recommend bonding, a crown, a root canal, or extraction. The dental bonding procedure involves the use of plastic resin to fill the crack. Bonding can help restore its look and function.
Crowns are caps that fit over weak and damaged teeth. A crown may be placed over the affected tooth. Sometimes, cracks reach the pulp of teeth. In this case, root canal therapy may be a good option.
If the tooth cannot be saved, extracting it may be necessary. This may be an option when the structure of the tooth as well as the roots and nerves are very damaged. But in some cases, treatment may not be recommended. This is often when cracks do not affect the appearance or cause pain or discomfort.
If you think you may have a crack in your tooth, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. There are multiple treatments that your dentist can use to repair a cracked tooth. They can help to save your tooth and appearance. Early treatment will also prevent the development of other serious problems like an infection. But it is vital to take proper care of your teeth and mouth. Good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly can help protect your smile.
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