Chewing hard foods or objects and bruxism (grinding teeth) can cause teeth to crack. A cracked tooth can soon become a lost tooth.
What Causes Teeth to Crack?
In addition to the aforementioned causes, experts have identified other ways teeth become cracked, which include:
Teeth can also crack simply as one ages naturally.
What are the Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth?
Cracked teeth don’t always show symptoms, but when they do, they often include:
How are Cracked Teeth Treated?
The size, location, and symptoms of the crack will determine what kind of treatment we’ll employ. Another factor is whether or not the crack goes beneath the gumline. Ahmed Matri, DDS will take everything into account and prescribe one of the following options.
Severe cracks that damage the pulp often require root canals. This procedure will remove the damaged pulp and restore the tooth’s structural integrity, preventing the tooth from weakening or getting infected.
Bonding is a procedure where we fill in the crack with a plastic resin to restore its appearance and function.
Crowns are prosthetic devices made of ceramic, porcelain, or other materials that cap or fit over damaged teeth. For the crown to fit, Ahmed Matri, DDS will need to make room by shaving off some of its enamel. Next, we will make an impression of the tooth, select a color to match it. We will send this information off to a dental lab, which will make the crown.
This process can take a few weeks to finish, but once the completed crown arrives Ahmed Matri, DDS will use cement to place it over the damaged tooth. Your crowns can last for the rest of your life if you care for them properly.
If the crack is so extensive that it has severely damaged the underlying roots and nerves, the only choice left is to extract the tooth.
If the cracks are tiny, having no adverse effect on the tooth’s appearance or function and causing no pain, it often best to leave the tooth alone.
How are Cracked Teeth Prevented?
Home care cannot treat a cracked tooth, but it can prevent one. Here’s how:
Proper dental care is very important because strong, healthy teeth are less likely to crack.
What do I do if I have a Cracked Tooth?
If you think you have a cracked tooth, clean out your mouth by rinsing with warm water. To prevent and reduce swelling, use an ice pack on your cheek or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory painkillers (Advil, ibuprofen, Motrin IB, etc.). Most importantly, schedule an appointment with Ahmed Matri, DDS right away. The tooth will suffer greater harm if treatment is delayed.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (703) 272-4389.