Just the thought is painful, right?
Having a cracked tooth is no fun. It can cause serious pain when you eat, especially with foods that are hot or cold.
Worse than that is the fact that, left untreated the situation is likely to get worse. You could even end up losing that tooth!
Here’s what you need to know about having a cracked tooth.
What Causes the Pain?
When you crack the enamel or the hard outer layer of a tooth, the soft pulp underneath can become exposed. As you eat, the pressure causes the broken pieces to rub against each other. This causes irritation and pain.
If left untreated this irritation can result in the pulp no longer being able to repair itself. In these cases, the tooth can no longer be treated and will likely need extraction.
How Is It Treated?
You need to have a cracked tooth treated right away to prevent the damage from becoming irreversible. Your dentist can repair the crack with a filling or crown, depending on the damage.
In some severe cases, a root canal may be necessary to correct the damage. This is a procedure that aims to save a badly damaged tooth and provide relief from pain.
After root canal treatment, the tooth is pulpless but it’s not a dead tooth – it can function normally and can be kept indefinitely. Although this technique is usually successful there are cases where the tooth continues to crack and eventually needs extraction.
At Island Dental we let you know before root canal treatment whether your tooth has a good chance of being saved and will only treat it if it’s likely to last.
How Can I Prevent Cracked Teeth?
While you can’t fully guarantee that you will never crack a tooth, there are precautions you can take to minimise your risk.
Avoid chewing on items that are especially hard, like ice cubes or unpopped popcorn kernels. Also, avoid chewing non-food items like pens, and never use your teeth as a tool!
If you are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard designed for sleep can help to reduce stress on your teeth. You should also wear a mouthguard or face mask whenever you play sports.
Finally, practice good oral health, including brushing and flossing each day, to minimise decay, which can make your teeth more prone to breakage.
How Can Island Dental Help?
If you are concerned that you may have cracked a tooth, don’t suffer in silence. Contact us so we can answer your questions, and help to prevent future damage and discomfort.
At Island Dental, looking after your health is our priority. It would be our pleasure to have the opportunity to assess your needs.