Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. But it is not made of armour! Over the years, it is not unusual for the occasional crack to form. Sometimes it is evident, for example, if a tooth is cracked by biting into something or in a sporting injury. In other cases, however, symptoms can manifest gradually over time through tiny fractures that form due to everyday wear and tear.
Either way, cracked tooth syndrome can cause sensitivity, and if it occurs in a front tooth, it might make you feel self-conscious. Furthermore, if left untreated, a cracked tooth can lead to more serious conditions, including decay and abscesses.
Causes of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
It’s easy to underestimate just how hard our teeth work and the difficult conditions in which they do so. Constant exposure to food at different temperatures causes expansion and contraction, while dental work performed over the years can also weaken the tooth structure over time.
Add to that our habits, which might include biting on hard food like nuts, clenching, grinding or misusing our teeth to open bottles, it is no surprise that even tooth enamel will sometimes crack under pressure.
Diagnosing a Cracked Tooth
Sometimes, a tooth will crack due to some trauma, such as a cricket ball to the face or biting down on something that’s just too hard. Under these circumstances, you know exactly what has happened. However, it is not always so obvious. If a crack has formed over time, there will be tell-tale signs that might include increased sensitivity or tenderness when biting.
If you have cracked a tooth or suspect that you have cracked tooth syndrome symptoms, it is important to see your dentist as quickly as possible. Waiting too long for treatment can result in minor cracks to form and you may end up losing your tooth. A detailed examination will be able to confirm the diagnosis and is the first step towards an effective treatment plan.
Treatment Options for Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Speed is of the essence when treating a cracked tooth, which is why it is so important to see the dentist without delay. The sooner it is treated, the easier it is to put it right, and it is always frustrating to see someone come in with a tooth that was cracked months ago and now needs an extraction or significant work that could have been avoided.
For minor cracks, simply grinding the affected area to reshape the tooth subtly is all that is needed. Simultaneously, in other cases, some reconstruction using either a filling or crowns might be appropriate. The dentist will take time to explain the available options in your specific case, along with the pros and cons of each.
Common Questions For Cracked Tooth Syndrome
That depends on the extent of the damage, but the tooth can be saved in all but the most severe circumstances. The extent of work needed to do so can range from a simple filling to a root canal if the crack extends into the pulp. Seeking attention as quickly as possible improves the chance of saving the tooth while keeping invasive treatments to a minimum.
Unfortunately, there are no home remedies that will repair a cracked tooth. If you are experiencing any symptoms of a cracked tooth, try to avoid chewing on that tooth. If you are left with a sharp edge exposed, you can cover it with chewing gum, and pain can be treated with over-the-counter analgesics until you get to the dentist.
Cracks in teeth are something that dentists see every day. As long as the crack is treated without delay, the prognosis for successfully repairing most cracks is good. Cracked teeth only lead to serious problems when left untreated.
A serious and sudden crack will often leave the tooth feeling sore and tender. With minor cracks, any pain is likely to appear incrementally in the form of sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink. In both cases, regular painkillers will help you feel more comfortable until your dentist can treat the problem.
If a cracked tooth is left untreated, any pain or sensitivity will steadily worsen, ultimately making it difficult to eat or drink in comfort. There is also the risk of developing an infection and the potential for an abscess to form, leading to severe pain and necessitating a more complex treatment plan.