Save Your Cracked Tooth

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Although teeth are very strong, they are still susceptible to cracks and fractures. Something as unfortunate as tripping over a shoelace and falling or as simple as biting into a rock-hard piece of toffee can be enough to injure your tooth. Sometimes, the crack is obvious, but there are occasions when there might not be any pain or sign of a fracture. If a tooth has been injured, it’s important to get it treated as soon as possible.

What causes a cracked tooth?
A cracked tooth can be the result of many things, such as:

Chewing on hard objects or foods, including ice or hard candy
Excessive tooth grinding or jaw clenching
Exposure to extreme temperatures, such as eating hot food, then immediately drinking ice water
An accident or injury to the mouth
Large amalgam fillings that, instead of treating cavities, weaken the tooth over time
Symptoms of a cracked tooth
Pain when biting or chewing on something
Transient pain that isn’t continuous
Inflammation of the gum around the affected tooth
Sensitivity to extreme temperatures
Treatment of a cracked tooth
If a crack in a tooth is not clearly visible, your dentist may ask if you have recently chewed on hard foods or tend to grind your teeth. He or she may also use a magnifying glass to identify any cracks or use a dental dye which will help to make cracks stand out. Special dental tools may be used to find the crack, such as one called a dental explorer (a sharp-ended dental tool) to feel for any changes in the tooth structure, and dental x-rays, which can indicate if the tooth pulp has been affected. Your dentist may also look for signs of inflammation.

Once the fracture has been identified, the treatment for a cracked tooth will depend on the type of crack, its severity, and its position in the tooth. Common treatments for a cracked tooth include the placement of a dental filling or crown. Small cracks that only affect the surface of the tooth usually do not require treatment, although the dentist may decide to polish it to improve its appearance. A root canal may be necessary to save a tooth if the pulp has been affected. While a dentist’s primary goal is to preserve the natural tooth, there are occasions in which the best thing to do is to extract the tooth.

If you are suffering from a cracked tooth, contact Maple Ridge Endodontics to make an appointment and have the tooth examined. Our dentist can provide you with the care you need.

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