A cracked or chipped tooth? Don’t panic. Cracks and fractures are a common dental issue. They can happen at any age, are usually painful, and can even be difficult to diagnose. But, once recognized, a cracked tooth, even if it is under a crown, is usually fairly easy to treat.
What Kind of Fractures Can Happen?
There are a variety of tooth cracks and fractures that can affect your teeth:
- Oblique supragingival fracture – this type of crack occurs when you bite down with too much force; happens above the gum line
- Oblique subgingival fracture – this fracture happens below the gum line – it can be extremely painful, and it can even take awhile to detect. A root canal may be the necessary solution
- Oblique root fracture – happens below the gum line, and often causes tooth loss
- Vertical apical root fracture – occurs in the root tip; this type of crack is usually the most painful fracture, a root canal is almost always required
What Causes a Cracked Tooth?
Teeth can crack for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Biting down on hard foods such as ice, hard candies, and nuts
- Jaw clenching or teeth grinding
- Uneven chewing
- Tooth wear
- Exposure to extreme temperatures such as consuming hot food with ice water
- Using your teeth to open packaging, or biting your fingernails
How Do You Know You’ve Cracked a Tooth?
It can be difficult to diagnose a cracked tooth yourself, but your dental team is ready to help. . Tiny cracks can’t often be seen with the eye, or if a crack occurs beneath a crown.
Some of the signs a tooth is cracked are:
- Tooth pain when chewing or biting
- Sporadic pain rather than continuing or chronic pain
- Increased sensitivity when biting into hot foods or drinking cold liquids, or you may have increased sensitivity to sweet, sour, or sticky foods
- Infection around the gum line near the fracture
How Do You Treat a Cracked Tooth?
While it depends on the location of the crack or break, and the severity of the crack, the first step is to reach out to your skilled dental team. A cracked or broken tooth is usually replaced by or covered with a dental crown.
A cracked tooth under a crown requires the removal of the crown, followed by treatment.
About 20% of cracked teeth require a root canal, and in some severe cases, the cracked tooth might have to be removed. If so, an implant or a bridge can replace the tooth.
How Do You Treat a Chipped Tooth?
If you have chipped off just a small piece of tooth the damage can be repaired with a filling. If the repair is to a front tooth or can be seen when you smile, your dental team may recommend the use of a simple to apply dental veneer, or dental bonding. Call your dental professionals for an appointment.
What Should I Do If I Discover a Cracked Tooth?
Early treatment is important when it comes to a cracked tooth. If you delay treatment, the crack can get worse. The sooner your tooth is treated, the better you’ll find that the outcome will be. So don’t delay in seeking help!
Do You Need Help with a Cracked or Chipped Tooth?
If you need help, whether urgent or to schedule a timely appointment, or if you simply want more information on how to handle a cracked or chipped tooth, reach out to us today. We’re here to handle all your dental needs, including cracked or chipped teeth!