How To Treat And Prevent Cracked Teeth
The enamel covering the teeth is the most durable tissue in the body, yet it can be cracked or broken. Teeth may suffer damage in several ways. Usually while doing something one probably shouldn’t have done, like playing contact sports without a mouth guard or chewing on a pencil. Or perhaps during an accidental fall, blow, or crash.
Oral decay or cavities can also weaken the teeth, making them more likely to break while chewing hard food or objects.The top nine foods that damage your teeth according to the American Dental Association are:
- Hard candies
- Citrus fruits
- Dried fruits
- Potato chips
- Sports drinks
Types of cracked teeth
No two cracks are the same, and some may not even be visible to the naked eye. The various types are:
- Craze lines: They are tiny cracks that only impact the enamel layer. Craze lines are not uncommon for adults. They cause no pain, are shallow and are of no concern beyond their appearance.
- Fractured cusp: A broken cusp is when a piece of the tooths chewing surface breaks off, its. It usually causes little to no pain.
- Cracked tooth: In a cracked tooth the crack stretches from the chewing surface vertically toward the root. Early diagnosis is vital in this case to save the tooth. Left untreated it will worsen with time and can result in a loss of the tooth. Early treatment is essential for preserving cracked teeth.
- Split tooth: A split tooth is the result of a long-term untreated cracked tooth. It is identifiable by a crack with sharp fragments that can be separated. A tooth in this state cannot be saved as a whole.
- Vertical root fracture: In this type of fracture, the cracks start in the root of the tooth and reach toward the biting surface. Often, they display minimal signs and symptoms. Usually, they are detected when the surrounding bone and gum become infected.
- Dental Bonding: Use of Composite bonding materials is a way to repair cracked teeth. Composite bonding can last over a decade. Anesthesia is not required always during the procedure. When the bonding needs to be applied to cavities, the Dentist may use anesthesia.
- Veneers: Veneers are like protective covers for the tooth. Porcelain veneers are preferred as they give the most natural looking outcome possible.They are bonded to the exterior of the tooth, altering the tooths appearance. When recommended oral care and maintenance is followed, veneers can last over two-three decades
- Crown: In cases where the tooth is excessively chipped, or the patient feels pain while eating or drinking a crown may be needed. It is a cap that lies over the tooth and shields it and improves its look.
- Dental Implants: If the crack in the tooth reaches past the gum line, the tooth is no longer retainable, and will need to be extracted (pulled out). Next, a dental implant is placed as a substitute for the extracted natural tooth. It acts as a stable new root for the tooth replacement.
- Root Canal: When the crack in the tooth continues into the pulp, the tooth needs root canal treatment. After the root canal therapy, a crown may be placed to guard the damage from spreading. Until the permanent replacement arrives, the dentist may put a temporary one to help the patient use their teeth properly
There is no way to prevent tooth damage 100%. Specific measures can help reduce the likelihood of teeth cracking. They are:
- Do not chew on hard foods or objects such as unpopped popcorn kernels, ice, or pens.
- Avoid clenching or grinding teeth.
- Seek treatment for Bruxism. Consult your dentist about a retainer or other mouthguard to protect your teeth from friction while clenching/grinding.
- Always use a mouthguard or protective mask while participating in contact sports. Wear appropriate sports guard even when you are rehearsing.
The Best Dentist in Nairobi, Dr. Pushpa Sachdeva says, “Unlike a broken bone that heals with time a cracked or broken tooth doesn’t heal. When left untreated the crack can advance causing more structural damage and expose the underlying sensitive root and tissue to infections. It may even cause tooth loss.”
Treatment can only repair the tooth and restore its appearance and function. Do not allow a cracked tooth to proceed unchecked and cause further oral complications. Repair and restoration of the damaged tooth when performed by an expert is painless and blends seamlessly with the remaining natural teeth. Consult a dental professional who will assess the extent of damage and identify which treatment option is best suited to your case.