Time to Talk About – Cracked Tooth
A cracked tooth can vary in severity from a scratch to the surface of the enamel to a tooth wholly split to the roots. You cannot possibly treat a cracked tooth at home. In the event of a severely broken tooth, apply ice packs to the affected area to reduce swelling and take over-the-counter medications for the pain. Then quickly see your dentist for expert examination, evaluation, and treatment. Early intervention will prevent further possible damage to your tooth.
Treatment for Cracked Teeth
Almost all types of cracks will require expert treatment to prevent further damage to the teeth:
- Craze Lines: or “minor” cracks are cracks in the enamel – the tooth covering. It often doesn’t require treatment, but your dentist should still have a look and decide whether to buff or polish it to remove rough edges on the tooth’s surface.
- Cracked Tooth: A tooth that is cracked proper sometimes down to the root. This type of crack can progressively get worse if not treated. Treatment options include dental filling with a dental crown or a root canal if the damage extends to the surrounding tissues and nerves.
- Chipped Tooth: while it may not need treatment, your dentist might decide to smoothen any rough edges to prevent damage to the soft tissues of the mouth. Your dentist may also recommend a cosmetic procedure to fix your smile.
- Broken Tooth Cusp: a crack in the tooth’s chewing surface, it’s treated with a dental crown or “onlay.”
- Broken Tooth: this is the most serious since nerves are exposed. It’s often painful and could cause bleeding. A root canal procedure is required to remove the exposed nerve and a crown to restore the tooth.
Cracked teeth can be caused by direct trauma to the tooth, or from severe tooth decay. Consulting your dentist should be your first step.