How do you know if you have cracked tooth? No matter how healthy your teeth are, a cracked tooth may happen. Any tooth is susceptible to cracking. It might be visible for some, but It isn’t always the case. Sometimes, our patients feel the pain and sensitivity without knowing that they already have it. So how would you know if you have a cracked tooth if this is the case?
Most patients feel discomfort while chewing food when they have a cracked tooth. There’s a sudden sensitivity to cold or heat. There’s a pain that feels like it won’t go away in some cases.
The problem with the invisible or tiny cracked tooth is that dentists may have a hard time finding the fracture. In addition, if a tooth is left untreated, it can lead to further problems in the future, including pain, discomfort, and swelling as time passes. But we’ll talk more about it in this article.
How Do You Know If You Have A Cracked Tooth?
There are symptoms if you have a cracked tooth. However, most people have broken teeth and do not even realize it. Even certain types of cracks aren’t harmful and don’t require any treatment.
However, suppose a person observes these signs. In that case, there’s a possibility that they have an even more severe type of crack that needs dental treatment. A severely cracked tooth could result in additional discomfort and pain if left untreated.
- Discomfort when eating, especially the moment you chew or bite.
- Swollen gums around the cracked tooth.
- Teeth that suddenly became sensitive to sweets.
- Teeth suddenly become sensitive to cold or hot foods that cause discomfort.
- Pain is likely to appear and disappear.
Why Do You Have a Cracked Tooth?
There are many reasons for teeth to crack. One of the common causes of a cracked tooth is biting on too hard foods. Excessive grinding of teeth and physical injury can also cause it. Sometimes aging, which weakens the tooth’s structure, can worsen the situation.
A sudden temperature shift could also cause a tooth to crack. It could, for instance, occur if a person has a burn in their mouth after drinking tea. Then, they consume a glass of chilled water to soothe the discomfort.
The Different Types of Cracked Tooth
Tooth cracks are more prevalent for those adults who are over 40. Moreover, data shows that women suffer cracked teeth more often than men. Cracks may vary in size, and depth, as well depending on the tooth’s location.
For example, we call the tiniest cracks craze lines. It usually occurs within the enamel of your teeth. It is doubtful that a person will detect a craze line, and treatment needs no urgent attention unless it is causing symptoms.
Aside from craze lines, there are other kinds of teeth cracks.
- A Split Tooth. It is when the crack divides the tooth into two. A dentist would usually need to save the crowns. There are also instances when a patient will require a root canal treatment.
- Oblique Root Cracks. It usually doesn’t occur on the outside of the teeth. The injury occurs beneath the gum line, more typically beneath the jawbone. Tooth extraction generally is the only solution for this kind of crack.
- A Fractured Cusp. It occurs if there’s a crack on the tooth’s chewing surface. It usually occurs around dental fillings.
- Vertical Apical Root Cracks. This type of crack starts at the tooth’s root and then extends to the crown. It could vary in size; however, the tooth may need removal due to extreme discomfort.
- Oblique Subgingival Cracks. It can extend beyond the gum line and can cause pain. It is essential to treat them to restore the tooth.
- Oblique Supragingival Cracks. This type only affects the crown. It doesn’t extend beyond the gum line. Therefore, this type is usually not too painful.
A dentist can apply a crown to cover cracks in a tooth. The most effective treatment depends on the area of the crack and the severity that the injury has occurred. If the crack is small and doesn’t cause discomfort, treatment might not be essential unless the patient requests to do so.
Here are other treatment options for cracked teeth.
- Gluing the broken or chipped part of the tooth
- Repairing the crack using plastic resin through a process known as bonding
- Filling the cracked tooth.
Treatment might be essential in the most severe instances where a fracture has penetrated the tooth’s pulp, the root canal. For example, if there’s a severely cracked tooth, a dentist could take it out completely.
On the other hand, there are home remedies to alleviate discomfort. When pain or sensitivity feels too much, consider doing this at home.
- Rinse the mouth using warm water to ensure it is clear
- Take over the counter pain reliever like ibuprofen.
- Applying a cold compress to your cheek to reduce swelling
How Do I Prevent My Teeth From Getting Cracked?
It is not easy to prevent a cracked tooth, especially if it’s in your lifestyle. However, there are a few techniques that may help. If you’re serious about avoiding a cracked tooth from happening, here are some tips to consider.
- Avoid foods that are difficult to chew, like popcorn kernels that aren’t popped or ice.
- Stop behaviors that can damage teeth, for example, cutting or grinding on a pen.
- Be careful not to clench your teeth.
- Using a mouthguard to safeguard your teeth when playing sports
- If someone grinds their teeth or tightens their jaw during sleep, They may want to speak with your dentist concerning wearing a dental guard during the evening.
If you want to prevent cracked teeth, it starts with proper behavior. First, make it a habit of being mindful of your teeth. Remember, chewing too hard foods can cause even the tiniest crack.
When to See Your Dentist?
Anyone who suspects they have a cracked tooth must make an appointment with an experienced Menlo Park dentist as soon as possible. It is essential to seek treatment when there is pain or discomfort.
The longer a cracked tooth becomes untreated, the more difficult it could be for dentists to salvage the tooth. In addition, some complications can occur, like infections. So, contact your nearest dentist right away.
Marisa Walker DDS
150 Middlefield Road., Suite 101, Menlo Park CA 94025